Microsoft Sells Stake In MSNBC.com, Becomes NBCNews.com
For 16 years, Microsoft has been involved with online news publishing as MSNBC. They ended their relationship with the site on Sunday which sees MSNBC.com become NBCNews.com. Cable provider Comcast has reportedly bought up Microsoft’s stake in the venture.
According to the newly christened NBCNews.com, the company’s president, Steve Capus, said that the new NBCNews.com would become part of NBC News Digital. The venture is led by Vivian Schiller, former president of NPR.
So what will change now that Microsoft is no longer involved in the operation of NBC? For now, msnbc.com will direct you to the new NBC News homepage. Later on, all of their other brands will begin to reflect the change. Charlie Tillinghast, NBCNews.com president, said that the site would benefit from “proper brand alignment between the TV properties and their Web counterparts.”
If you’re worried that the change will affect the news or content being produced, Capus says not to. He says that “There’s nothing that needs to be fixed” in regards to the site. It will, however, take about two years for Microsoft and NBC to completely detach from each other.
The deal is good for Microsoft as well since they’ll be able to provide more than just NBC news on MSN.com, the company’s public Web site. Microsoft will still give priority to NBC by sending visitors to their Web site instead of keeping them on MSN.com. Microsoft will also continue to sell NBCNews.com’s ad inventory.
As for Comcast, Reuters reports that the company paid $300 million for a 50 percent stake in MSNBC.com. Comcast had already bought the television broadcasting arm of NBC back in 2009 so it’s only natural that they would buy the online presence as well.
There are some good journalists working at MSNBC.com. Here’s hoping the transition is smooth for them.