NBCUniversal has acquired Microsoft's 50% stake in the Msnbc
Digital network, which will give NBC News full ownership over the digital
operation, which include msnbc.com, TODAY.com, NightlyNews.com, BreakingNews.com,
Newsvine.com, EveryBlock.com, and a variety of apps and digital properties.
As a result of the move, Msnbc.com is being rebranded as
NBCNews.com and all of NBC News' digital businesses, including Msnbc Digital
Network properties, theGrio.com, NBCLatino.com, NBCPolitics.com,
EducationNation.com and the divisions other social media and digital efforts,
are being combined to form a new division entitled, NBC News Digital.
NBC News Digital will be overseen by Vivian Schiller, senior
VP and chief digital officer of NBC News and Charlie Tillinghast will continue
to oversee the Msnbc Digital Network properties, reporting to Schiller. In
terms of sales, the current NBC News Digital sales team will now report to
Marianne Gambelli, president of NBC Network Ad Sales, and work closely with
John Kelly, executive VP of NBC News Ad Sales.
NBCNews.com will expand its local efforts by the NBC's Owned
The company's cable news channel will also MSNBC will have its
own online site at Msnbc.tv. That site is expected to launch in 2013.
"When msnbc.com launched 16 years ago, it set the standard
for how people consume news online-creating trends and leading the marketplace,"
noted NBC News President Steve Capus in a statement. "Today, NBC News enters a
new phase of its history better positioned to compete and grow in a digital
environment, as well as deliver consumers and clients a multi-platform news
experience unlike anything else in the industry. We'd like to thank Microsoft
for everything they've done for this partnership and for helping us build these
properties into what they are today."
As part of the integration of Msnbc Digital Network
properties into NBC News, some staff will be co-located at NBC's headquarters
in New York but the announcement noted that "NBC News plans to keep a
substantial presence in the Seattle area, building what will become the `NBC
News Innovation Center.' This center will focus on digital innovation and
technology, and incubate new ideas for NBC News and NBCUniversal."
The announcement also stressed that "in the coming years, [Microsoft-owned]
MSN will remain an important distribution partner for NBCNews.com, featuring
NBC News links to content on the MSN homepage and other properties."
"After years of working together with NBC to successfully
build msnbc.com into a leading online news outlet, we are excited to explore
future innovations, relationships and opportunities that will continue to
provide the most relevant news and conversations at MSN," said Bob Visse,
general manager of MSN in a statement. "We are looking forward to seeing how
the Msnbc news team thrives under NBC, and we will continue to feature the
great stories from NBC News as well as expand our news offerings to best serve
the evolving interests of our broad global audience.
In a statement Schiller noted that the deal opens up many
opportunities for NBC to "better align television with digital, innovate around
how we deliver content to consumers, and fully integrate digital into everything
that we do....This is a different model from the rest, and given where the future
of online news is trending, we see it as a model with staying power."