When Microsoft and NBC teamed up 16 years ago, the resulting news outlet was focused on tech and business news. In recent years, there’s been less MS and more left-leaning as the network tries to be the fair and balanced answer to Fox News. And then today, Microsoft and NBC announced that MS is pulling out of MSNBC, leaving it only as NBC News.
NBCUniversal purchased Microsoft’s 50 percent share of the joint venture on July 13, NBC News President Steve Capus said today in a statement. The deal gives NBC News complete control over the MSNBC Digital Network, which includes MSNBC.com, Today.com, NightlyNews.com, BreakingNews.com and other sites.
Microsoft and NBC started MSNBC in 1996, teaming up to create a 24-hour news channel and companion website. NBC agreed to acquire the news channel in 2005, leaving the Internet portion as a joint venture. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable- television provider, purchased NBC Universal last year.
By acquiring full ownership of the website, NBC can link it more closely with MSNBC TV. The channel will introduce a new news website in 2013, NBCUniversal said today. The company also will bring all of NBC News’s online properties into a new division called NBC News Digital, which will be overseen by Vivian Schiller, NBC News’s senior vice president and chief digital officer.
The change will let the company “better align television with digital, innovate around how we deliver content to consumers, and fully integrate digital into everything that we do,” Schiller said in the statement.
Microsoft’s MSN Web portal, which competes with Yahoo! Inc. and AOL Inc., will remain a distribution site for NBC News.
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