Sunday, July 15, 2012

MSNBC is no more, now NBC News

NBCNews.com Logo. Copyright NBC.
In the latest news, NBC has expressed interest in buying Microsoft's stake in their partnership in creating the MSNBC news franchise (not sure about the cable network). Now, NBC has now bought Microsoft's stake in the franchise, and now all URL entries to msnbc.com will now redirect to nbcnews.com. MSNBC has written a final article about the move, available here.
When you first visit the new page for MSNBC, you will get a popup (HTML based) telling you that their terms of service and privacy policy has changed, which is sorta expected when a franchise changes hands. At the bottom of the window contains a button that says why this is happening. When you click that button, you will be taken here, explaining the move to people who don't know.


Of course I am going to tell you about this so that you do not end up not knowing :).


First off, this little snippet from the first article I linked seems to explain a lot, but not in much detail:
NBC News has acquired full control of msnbc.com and its digital network from Microsoft Corp. and is immediately rebranding the site as NBCNews.com.
Details are still being worked out, but financial terms are not being released to the public (although you and I can guess that NBC paid a sum of money to Microsoft for their stake).


NBC News President Steve Capus said the site would become part of NBC News Digital, a new division led by Vivian Schiller. He is the former president and chief executive of National Public Radio.


Another snippet form the article:
In the short term, msnbc.com will reflect the homepage of NBCNews.com. Eventually, it will become the address of MSNBC TV, giving MSNBC TV its own dedicated address and ending an arrangement under which the news site shared the MSNBC name with an increasingly commentary-driven channel.
Charlie Tillinghast (the sites president and publisher) said that NBC News would benefit from "proper brand alignment between the TV properties and their Web counterparts (NBC News and NBCNews.com, MSNBC cable and msnbc.com and TODAY show and TODAY.com.)"


Even though the site has a name change, the same quality of journalism will apply.


Two year transition planned
The deal with Microsoft is 16 years deep, so it will take some time to untangle all of the ties to Microsoft. The network has said that this will at least take 2 years.


NBCNews.com will still be serving news to MSN, Microsoft's Web Portal. MSN will still continue to generate traffic back to the site, which is always a good thing.


Microsoft also will continue to sell NBCNews.com's advertising inventory for an undisclosed period, which Capus said should minimize disruption in ad revenue.



For Microsoft, moving on "allows us to go out and innovate," said Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com.


Under the joint venture, NBC News was the exclusive news provider for MSN.com, which now will be able to negotiate partnerships with other news organizations in order to appeal to the widest possible audience. MSN.com has begun hiring for a new news operation — as yet unnamed — that will launch in the fall, he said.


Transitions
Perhaps one of the hardest tasks is to get the staff in order. Most MSNBC editors were based in Microsoft's home terf, Redmond. NBCNews is stationed in New York, a full coast away. It will certainly be hard considering that most of the editors are on one coast, and the actual headquarters are on the east coast.


Mr. Brady put it in his own words, probably better than mine:
"Putting together disparate staffs is always difficult, because you have long-established practices of doing things," Brady said. "The hard part of merging any news organization is getting them pulling in the right direction."
Good news is that the editorial staff and other company beings will stay at Redmond for now, with NBC seeking some office space in Seattle (not that far away from Redmond).


NBCNews.com made a nice little video, it is below, centered.


Let me know of your thoughts below, if you have any :).