The cable news network formally launched its new website on Tuesday. The website allows MSNBC to once and for all untangle its brand ties with NBC News following their split with Microsoft, which co-owned MSNBC.com, in 2012.
It’s been a year since NBC took control of one of the Web’s best known news sites, MSNBC.com. On its first anniversary, NBC News Digital is still a work in progress as the now-independent operation works to dispel lingering Microsoft ties and to deploy a reconstructed ad sales force.
The breakup announced late Sunday dissolves the final shreds of a 16-year marriage between Microsoft Corp. and NBC News, which is now owned by Comcast Corp. The site has been rebranded as 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. Under the plan, officials will rebrand MSNBC.com, which consistently ranks among the top three in online news sites, as NBCNews.com. The announcement of the corporate divorce is expected within days, although there could always be a last-minute snag.
NBCUniversal is in serious negotiations with Microsoft to buy back MSNBC.com. Several sources with first-hand knowledge of the situation say that negotiations between the two companies have progressed to the stage where NBCU parent company Comcast is conducting its due diligence. They said that the partnership could be unwound by this summer.