“NBC Universal announced today that it has reached a deal to acquire majority control of MSNBC, the 24-hour cable television news network, from Microsoft,” The New York Times reports. “The transaction could be the first step in ending a nine-year partnership between the companies, and puts NBC squarely in control of the network, which has lagged behind the Fox News Channel and CNN in the ratings race for years. NBC said it has an option to acquire 100 percent of the cable channel within two years.”
The New York Times reports, Executives at Microsoft have worried that media business is outside their primary mission and may be a black hole. Microsoft sold its stake in Slate, the online magazine, to The Washington Post last year. Without Microsoft, NBC may change MSNBC’s direction as well as its name, analysts have said. Earlier this year, executives at NBC had talked about the prospect of renaming the network. NBC, which is 80 percent owned by General Electric, said today it plans greater integration between MSNBC and NBC News… But the companies said msnbc.com will be unaffected by the transaction and Microsoft and NBC, which is 80 percent owned by General Electric, will continue to equally own the Internet site. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.”
Full article here.
A dumb idea (who could ever really trust MSNBC technology reports or reviews? Or business reports mentioning Microsoft?) finally starts to be rectified. Is this yet another sign that Microsoft’s pervasive influence is waning?
NBC’s first two orders of business should be to change the name by dropping the “MS,” (XNBC?) and offer the option of using QuickTime for watching video on your websites instead of the dreadful Microsoft Media Player.
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