Microsoft and NBC to finally split: MSNBC.com to become NBCNews.com

“NBC and Microsoft plan to announce a deal to finally part company, with the network buying back the remainder of their hugely popular MSNBC website from the software giant, say people familiar with the matter,” Howard Kurtz reports for The Daily Beast. “Under the plan, officials will rebrand MSNBC.com, which consistently ranks among the top three in online news sites, as NBCNews.com.”

Kurtz reports, “The cable channel MSNBC was originally a joint venture between the broadcast network and Bill Gates’ company—hence the initials in the name—but the television partnership was dissolved in 2005. The companies, however, remained 50-50 partners in the website.”

“NBC executives have grown frustrated at not having sole control of the MSNBC website, which does original reporting as well as aggregating content from the AP, Reuters, New York Times and elsewhere,” Kurtz reports. “At the same time, as the MSNBC channel has forged a separate identity as the liberal home of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz and others, the company has worried about the brand confusion caused by its straight-news site bearing the same name. And the cable channel has lacked a site solely devoted to pushing its personalities.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It was a stupid idea to begin with and the network’s and the website’s tech, tech reviews, and business reporting, at the very least, were always suspect because of Microsoft’s involvement and the idiotic branding.

We’d say exactly the same thing if it were AppleNBC, not that Apple, even in the dark days before Jobs’ second coming, would have ever been so stupid and hubristic as to enter into such a deal.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike D.” for the heads up.]

57 Comments

    1. They’ll be announced 2-4 quarters before expected “lunch”, will be priced comparably to other chips on the market, and will be packaged in a brand new technology called VaporBg (pronounced vapor bag). And will be When-doze-ate.

      Two weeks later, Ballmer will say that they are just a design point for what their partners Should be able to do with potatoes.

    2. Not Chips! TOILET PAPER—it’s MicroSOFT!
      This would be the first MIcrosoft product with a decent name on it. And the CEO’s an ass…so maybe he could speak intelligently about Toilet Paper. PERFECT!

    1. This was a perfect marriage of two groups. MS that knows little about great product development, and NBC that knows nothing about reporting news and more about promoting their political agendas (and people in prison).

      They both should have their heads examined.

  1. I I like to bash NBC’s prime time lineup the most. I think I saw a monkey dressed up in a doctors coat on a commercial for some hospital comedy called “Animal Practice.” Im sure NBC has no idea on how to move forward. Seems like most of their shows bomb because…they just plain suck.

  2. Microsoft screwed themselves.

    Does anybody in their right mind think that at the outset of this mistake Microsoft wanted to brand themselves with what degenerated into a minority political extreme fringe channel? The Madcows, Olbermans (while he lasted), and the leg tinglers of the world?

    Fox News Channel destroys MSNBC with double or triple the ratings, often even more than triple.

    Microsoft sure knows how to pick a winner.

    According to the most recent Gallup poll, “Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S.”

    American’s describe themselves as:
    • 40% – Conservative
    • 35% – Moderate
    • 21% – Liberal
    (Gallup, 2012)

    The end result was that Microsoft branded themselves with a minority political extreme and alienated themselves from at least 75% of the U.S.

    Really, really, really stupid. But, it is Microsoft, so we already knew they weren’t too bright. NBC can’t be too bright, either.

    1. Do you EVER have something to say on this forum that might even obliquely have to do with Apple or computers or just tech? I know I am not alone in my exasperation that 100% of your posts are of a polarizing political nature. And by the way, in the poll you cited, 56% of Americans identified themselves as NOT conservative, making you the minority.

      1. Ralph, I don’t know the poster but it does become frustrating when people politicize blog with unrelated matter. FWIW I will address your stats using your logic. If your moderate then 61% of Americans make you the minority. If your Liberal then 75% of Americans make you the minority. I’m a conservatively moderate liberal. I am the majority. So take my infinite advice….A wise man never plays leapfrog with a unicorn.

      2. Typical liberal “math”.
        Worst case (as evidenced by ANY coalition government worldwide), the majority leads policy with the cooperation of other parties.
        Liberals demand, however, that they ( the minority group) dictate to everyone “not them”, and often to the point of utter stupidity.

        75% of Americans identified themselves as NOT liberal, making the Left an uber-minority, yet they scream at the top of their lungs that everyone else “SIT DOWN, SHUT UP AND DO AS YOU’RE ORDERED”.

      3. Folks, using this math, neither liberals nor conservatives are a majority. You CANNOT take moderates and lump them in with your own numbers and declare a majority.

        BOTH liberals and conservatives are minorities, as are moderates.

        In other words, it takes a coalition to govern this country. The less extreme you are, the more likely you are to win.

        Now, can we get back to Mac & Apple news and drop this political shit?

        1. Agreed! Let’s talk about Apple stuff.
          (I wonder if the political news sites are trolled by MS and Apple fanboys trying to divert the conversations from politics to computers?)

    2. 1-In the important demographics the gap between MSNBC and Faux Newz Channel is not much. Faux racks up a lot of older, rural, low income viewers and that is not where the sweet spot is in advertising.
      2- If you poll Americans about individual issues instead of labels, Americans show to be quite liberal. If you ask by labels, more conservative. That is the product of 50 years of Conservative messaging- hammering away the same message decade after decade.

      1. Liberal schizophrenia at its best!
        On one hand, Leftwingnuts (who utterly dominate the means of disseminating, decade after decade, their “message”, claim that the right is “The wealthy 1% who controls all the world’s wealth”.
        Whenever the left fails to dictate to the majority, however, they somehow magically transform their enemies into some nebulous “vast right wing conspiracy” of uneducated rednecks.

        1. Yep, you hit the nail squarely on the head.

          The right can beat be defined by the wealthy 1% (aka, rich white corporate folks) who fool the uneducated, rural masses into believing they have their best interests at heart by disingenuously spouting a bunch of evangelical Christian views on issues the uneducated actually care about.

          Couldn’t have said it better myself…

          1. It’s over, Libs, you just haven’t figured it out, yet. The Mistake in ’08 will be a lasting memory in the minds of the electorate for many years, as well. Obama did achieve the impossible, though: He made Carter look good by comparison.

            1. Obama’s so desperate that he’s already running the type of negative attack lying ads that a losing politician usually doesn’t run until the last week of a campaign.

              From “messiah” to total loser, all in less time that it took for him to be affirmative-actioned through college.

    3. News-1598 Reports: “95% of peasants interviewed believe the earth is flat and witches should be hunted down and burnt… And identify themselves and moderate.
      The others are obviously an extreme fringe who must be burnt.”

      1. Derek, you are the pot calling the kettle black. I’m not interested that you think politics is retarded. If you can’t understand that your life is controlled by these idiot politicians and keep your head buried in the sand, you deserve what you get. On the other hand some of us care and will push for sanity.

        1. Fine, so long as “sanity” doesn’t include putting another clueless, stiff, Jesus-freaked puppet into the White House to pander to corporate interests while driving the common man further into bankruptcy and eschewing more and more individual freedoms.

        2. Sorry anonymous coward ‘schmluss’, but you apparently haven’t read my own rants around here. There is no one more vehemently pushing for sanity in every human endeavor than me. Part of that sanity is keeping the ignorant and propaganda driven rants OFF MDN. They never belonged here.

          Rather than come to MDN and rant back at stupid PoliTard comments, I’d like to see all the political clap-trap kicked out of here entirely. I can shovel through that daily steaming pile of shite elsewhere. And I do, rest assured. 😕

    4. My comments are perfectly on topic.

      So, here’s what you Libs hate (about my comment and other things):

      1. Gallup showing you outnumbered by at least 2-1 by right-thinking Americans.
      2. Fox News regularly trouncing MSNBC with abandon, showing ratings numbers that show you outnumbered by as much as 4-1 by right thinking Americans.
      3. Seeing both data sets reinforcing each other so nicely.
      4. Being awoken from your elite cocktail party groupthink and your echo chamber media choices to be reminded that you’re nothing but a tiny minority generally clustered into cities on the coasts, on college indoctrination campuses, and in lamestream media offices.
      5. Having nothing to argue with but nasty, counter-productive Alinsky bullet points.
      6. Having your ideology proven yet again to be a total failure, see current lazy WH occupant with only 193 days left of free golf to go. Better pack in the tee times even more, B.O.
      7. Your lives: Republicans are 68% more likely than liberal Democrats to say they were “very happy” about their lives.
      8. Minorities. Why else would you think them unable to succeed on their own merits? Why else would you consign generations of them to subsistence living, dependent of government handouts – modern day slavery in exchange for votes?
      9. Anyone who fails to toe the constantly moving party line (I remember when Democrats hated the government, for example, now they foolishly promote it as a panacea.)
      10. You see the writing on the wall and you know I do, too.

      1. Sputter, fume, sputter …

        You’re a racist homophobe 1-percenter who hates poor people!!!!!

        (Emits crazy Howard Dean scream and then head explodes in Pythonesque fashion)

      2. “First 2010, Then 2012”
        1=Faux Newz Channel’s supposedly huge ratings are lower than for any of the so-called beleaguered evening news programs on the broadcast networks. In a country of 300+ million the numbers are small.
        2-The numbers show that if everybody votes the Republicans NEVER win. They’s why they try every way known to suppress voting- legal and otherwise.
        3-If you seriously think Obama is a liberal or socialist you need to take a political science course at a properly accredited University.

    5. Obama is gonna whip your ass in November boy and Fox News are gonna be crying their little eyes out when that bible bashing, tax evading, racist, red neck moron (sorry mormon) is defeated.

      Yeeeeee haaaaaaa

  3. MS has lots of similar JV’s around the world. I worked for ninemsn, the MS JV with Australia’s largest (at the time) media group, PBL. What struck me at the time is that while the rest of the market was forging ahead with innovative online products, ninemsn was innovating on the news front but always waiting for the Redmond laggards to catch up on the tech front. Besides that, 90% of their traffic was generated from ninemsn being the default page of Windoze/Explorer and the exit page of hotmail…

    And an interesting piece of local folklore, in 1999 PBL approached their online partner MS and said “classifieds will be big, lets get into that”…MS said, with their usual foresight, “don’t be daft, people won’t use the web for classifieds” so this was carved out of the JV agreement. PBL went on to make $billions from Seek.com.au, Carsales.com.au and other classified lists..I love that story.

    MS continues to miss read the market time and time again and while the media/web JV’s have generated some results (ninemsn was one of their most profitable businesses units around the world for a while) the model is deeply floored and the media co is better off without them.

  4. This is another example of Microsoft’s delusion that the name “Microsoft” (or “MS” in this case) is somehow a positive for branding.

    Same thing with “Windows.” Microsoft believes adding “Windows” to the name is a positive. Why did they name their new phone OS “Windows Phone”? The old “Windows Mobile” made some sense, but the new OS has nothing to do with using Windows on a computer, in terms of interface and conventions. They could have gotten a fresh start by naming it something completely different. Well, never mind… The last few times they tried that, they got Zune and Kin.

    But my point is, the words “Microsoft” and “Windows” are marketing poison. Does anyone really want to buy a device made by “Microsoft,” running “Windows”? I wonder how many car sales Ford lost, because of “Ford SYNC – Powered by Microsoft.”

    1. Actually, the marketing concept was more nauseating than just adding ‘MS’ to the start of NBC. At the time of the joint venture, MS were pushing MSN, aka Microsoft Network. It was just too cute to pass up joining with NBC to create MSNBC.
      *gag* :-Q*****

  5. About time really. I never understood why they tied up anyway, except as yet another Microsoft copy of what someone else was doing (AOL Time Warner in this case).

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