Atlanta-headquartered Time Warner subsidiary Turner Broadcasting System, announced last week that it plans to expand the online presence of its declining news channel CNN.

$1.2 billion has been allocated over the next five years for a major extension and upgrade of the network’s facilities and studios. One of its new towers in downtown Atlanta will house over 3,000 new employees for the online and wireless services it plans.

The group’s strategy, says Steve Heyer, Turner’s chief operating officer, is to expand CNN’s online presence to include research tools and more in-depth coverage. The result would be a wealth of information from a combination of on-air and online sources: "People online are looking for a broader array of easy-to-get news and information," he said. "We are a dominant player in news online; we don't want to lose that position – so what you're seeing is the logical extension of that commitment."

The massive expansion project comprises three new office buildings, a tourist attraction themed around Turner's entertainment networks, and a collaboration with Omni Hotels to more than double the size of Turner's existing hotel at CNN Center. Construction should be completed by 2005.

News source: New York Times