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Nick's interactive Nozzle changes the Web

Nickelodeon has announced a new endeavor tentatively titled "ProjectNozzle." This initiative will transform the website from itscurrent TV-centric position into a full, free online service for kids.Project Nozzle, which will compete with Walt Disney's Disney Blast andDisney Channel's Zoog Disney services on the site, will havesuch features as guided Web tours, auditoriums, bulletin boards, moderatedchats and e-mail, along with kid content from a wide range of contentcreators and partners. Nickelodeon president Herb Scannell stated, "Just asNickelodeon transformed television by providing the first full-time networkfor kids, 'Project Nozzle' will transform the Web by offering kids thefirst registered community including all of the features that adult portalsprovide, but in an environment built just for kids." The service isscheduled to launch on September 1, 1999, with testing slated to begin onJune 1. Nickelodeon has acquired two companies to help assist in this hugeonline venture: Nvolve, Inc., a San Mateo-based Web developer; and RedRocket, an online educational retailer. As part of these new onlineefforts, Viacom is announcing the creation of a new Internet division witha satellite office in San Mateo. This is not a replacement for the Nick.comsite but rather an expansion to help create a home base for kids on the Web.