Purchase price for Microsoft's share reported at $300 million
Msnbc.com renamed itself NBCNews.com after Comcast bought out Microsoft's share of it for a reported $300 million.
The sale, which had been expected for weeks, ends the partnership of the internet giant and NBC, which stretches back to the mid 1990s. The sale price was not disclosed, but The New York Times reported it was $300 million.
“When msnbc.com launched 16 years ago, it set the standard for how people consume news online — creating trends and leading the marketplace," said NBC News President Steve Capus. "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."
Capus also thanked Microsoft "for everything they’ve done for this partnership and for helping us build these properties into what they are today.”
The site's editor in chief, Jennifer Sizemore, delivered the news in a message to readers.
"While our name is changing, our commitment is not. In fact, in the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be bringing you more of what you love today, and NBCNews.com will stay true to its mandate of delivering the news you need with the innovative spirit you’ve come to expect across all of our digital platforms."
Microsoft relinquished its stake in the cable news channel MSNBC in 2005, and the channel has branded itself as an outlet for left-leaning political coverage and analysis. But because of MSN and NBC's joint ownership of the website, the online news site has not reflected the voice of the cable channel.
Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, now becomes the full owner of msnbc.com, and the purchase signals a major investment in the future of the news division. People familiar with the deal told the Times that some of the purchase price came from the joint venture’s past profits.
Visitors who typed in msnbc.com on Monday morning were immediately redirected to the new site.