BBC News Online has chosen Oscars night to launch an expanded arts,
entertainment and showbiz section.
Seven sections covering arts, theatre, showbiz, music, new media, design
and film will go live on 25 March.
The move comes after a pounds 400,000 investment by the BBC. Six
journalists have been hired, taking the team to ten.
Jackie Finlay, formerly news editor of BBC News Online's UK section,
will edit the newly-created sections.
Finlay said the expansion was partly aimed at attracting more women and
younger people to the service.
'The profile of readers at the moment is mainly 25 to 45-year-old men,
so we're looking to change that,' she said.
Finlay added that the site would cover weightier issues, such as arts
funding, as well as lighter entertainment and showbiz news.
Regular features on the site will include interactive forums, diaries
from writers, musicians and directors, celebrity reviews and guest
BBC News arts correspondents Rosie Millard and Nick Higham will both
The service will also supply news feeds to other BBC arts and film
Finlay denied that the service would have an impact on the BBC's Radio
Times site, which also carries entertainment and arts features.
'We work fairly closely with BBC Online and what we're doing here is the
news angle. If we have any big features we will no doubt work with
BBC News Online attracts 140 million hits per month and is the biggest
internet news service outside the US.
The Oscars-night launch will feature live webcasts from the awards and
after-parties and celebrity interviews.
BBC News has appointed Jay Hunt as Six O'Clock News editor. She
replaces Mark Popescu who moves to Ten O'Clock in a reshuffle which also
sees Chris Rybczynski become One O'Clock News editor.