MSNBC.com now redirects to NBCNews.com
MSNBC.com has broken ties with Microsoft and renamed its site to NBCNews.com. This move by NBC to stand apart from Microsoft allows the company to claim full ownership on its digital businesses, as shared by NBC News President Steve Capus to NY Times. This is due mainly to the acquisition of Microsoft’s 50% stake in the partnership by Comcast, the company that has the reins over NBC.
Next year – most probably during the first quarter – MSNBC.com will be rebranded as a separate site for MSNBC, the cable channel. This move is expected to put an end to the brand confusion that has hounded both businesses for long years, reported the NY Times.
When asked to describe MSNBC.com President Capus clarified that the website had been more or less fine. Yet, he also disclosed that they wanted something beyond just “fine”, hence the “divorce” from Microsoft.
Several reasons, from media industry-related changes to incompatible company priorities, point to the MSNBC-Microsoft breakup. The pressure started in 2005 when an arrangement removed Microsoft’s stake in the cable channel yet retained its hold on the website. This disallowed NBC to accept several ads for its newscasts on TV and website due mainly to Microsoft’s running the sales ad of the joint-venture.
With Microsoft expecting to gain some new ground with the separation, the arrangement appears to have produce a win-win situation. Now that MSN.com is no longer limited by the terms imposed by the partnership, it may start accepting deals with other news providers.
The MSNBC.com website has been adjusted to redirect to NBCNews.com. No conspicuous changes have been done to the site, although NBC is expected to make some changes in the coming days.
According to anonymous sources, Microsoft is expected to receive more or less $300 million, with the amount inclusive of Microsoft’s share of past profits. NBC will continue to employ the approximately 300 employees under the MSNBC-Microsoft venture.[via NYT]