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NBC to launch 'locals only' Web sites

The new sites, which will feature content from local publications, blogs, and TV stations, are part of an effort to get local stations to develop community identities.

NBC Local Media announced today that it will launch Web sites that target "locals only" by providing news, entertainment, and information from around the community. The sites will feature content from print and online publications in the area, as well as local bloggers and TV stations to provide visitors with all the information their city has to offer.

"These sites are a departure from what we've done in the past and the next step in our mission to provide truly relevant local content to consumers on the media platform of their choice," said John Wallace, president of NBC Local Media. "Our goal was to create a new type of user experience that's less an extension of our TV stations and more of an online destination for the latest local news, information, and entertainment. These sites are about putting consumers first and giving them the content they're looking for from the best available sources."

NBC's new plan will eliminate the link between its TV stations and their respective Web sites and will target a city's specific online community to help locals stay on top of the latest news and information in their area, regardless of the source. In fact, much of the content on the sites will be gathered from outside content providers or contributed by the audience itself through videos, blogs, and text.

According to NBC Local Media's senior vice president, Brian Buchwald, the new sites will target a group of people NBC is calling "social capitalists" who are passionate about their city and want to "stay ahead of the curve and influence others in their peer groups."

The sites will roll out in four phases throughout the month. The first phase starts today in Chicago, followed by Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco on October 16. NBC will add Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. to the group on October 20, and New York and Hartford, Conn., at the end of the month. Each new site will replace the existing NBC local station's Web site and feature a new domain name. If successful, NBC may roll out the localized sites in other markets sometime in the future.