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MSNBC.com launches classified advertising section

LONDON – MSNBC.com, the news website venture from NBC and Microsoft, is introducing MSNBC Classifieds, an online trading post, with Ebay and Expedia already signed up as partners.

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The Classifieds page is split into five categories: real estate, cars, personals, travel and merchandise. Expedia and Ebay sponsor the last category. Other partners include Careerbuilder, Homegain, Match and Cars.com.

Charlie Tillinghurst, the general manager and publisher of MSNBC.com, said: "MSNBC.com continues to build its brand as the top source for news online. The classifieds are one area of print news that has not made the boundary-free leap to the internet. MSNBC Classifieds will let users search the entire internet community, not just their backyards."

MSNBC.com is a 24-hour cable and internet venture delivering highlights of NBC News, MSNBC Cable, NBC Sports, MSN and Newsweek.

It launched in July 1996 and generated an annual revenue of $45m (£24m) for in 2003. Significantly, more than 80% of the revenue came from 60 advertisers and more than 70 different advertisers spent in excess of $100K.

The initiative creates a new revenue channel for MSNBC.com.

The launch comes as Ebay announced it is looking to break into the lucrative classified advertising market after acquiring 25% of online job forum Craiglist.

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