Ever wonder why MSNBC.com was named MSNBC? Well it was because of Microsoft’s stake in the digital property (‘MS’ standing for Microsoft… duh). I say “was” because the partnership is now over: NBC News has bought Microsoft’s share of MSNBC.com.
Partnership between Microsoft and NBC News on MSNBC, the TV channel and website, is sixteen years old. In 2005 Microsoft ‘relinquished’ its share of MSNBC the TV channel but maintained ownership of MSNBC the website largely due to Microsoft’s need to use MSNBC as the news provider for MSN.com. This varied ownership is said to have caused MSNBC the TV channel and MSNBC the website to differ in taste and content as opposed to the website being a mouth for the TV channel.
The sale reportedly cost Comcast, the part company of NBC News, $300 million. However, that $300 million wasn’t a complete waste: MSNBC.com is now fully owned by NBC News and thus has been renamed to… NBCNews.com. Now that Microsoft’s share of MSNBC.com has been bought out, MSNBC.com will eventually turn into a website for MSNBC TV. For now, however, MSNBC.com will simply redirect to NBCNews.com.
It should be noted NBCNews.com will continue to provide news for MSN.com for the time being. Reports are coming in that Microsoft is looking to hire a dedicated news team for MSN.com so NBCNews may not be used by Microsoft in the near future.