Phil Griffin Wishes MSNBC.com a Happy First Birthday After Launch

“It took a huge amount of work, but we did it. And the results have been amazing,” MSNBC’s president tells staff

Last Updated: November 6, 2014 @ 9:55 AM

A year after MSNBC.com launched, network president thanked staff Thursday.

“One year ago we set out to create a true digital home for MSNBC’s passionate community to engage with us and each other,” Giffin said in a memo obtained by TheWrap. “It took a huge amount of work, but we did it. And the results have been amazing.”

The website relaunched a year ago with the goal of creating not just a news site, but a “social network” and “big community gathering point.”

Griffin’s note cites significant growth in several measurements: a 120 percent increase in total views; a 46 percent increase in unique visitors, and a 29 percent uptick in average minutes per visitor. Over two years, MSNBC TV has grown from zero Facebook fans to today’s 900,000.

The rest of Griffin’s memo below.

For so many years, I wanted us to run our own website: to create a home for the audience we have, and the one we want to attract. Under the old joint venture with MSN, we couldn’t manage our own identity or build for our future.

From the streets of Ferguson to our elections webcast, our digital team has made a massive difference for msnbc. We plan coverage together, break stories online and on air, shoot original video around the country and the world, and build successful partnerships with like-minded groups and clients. In our first year, we have won several big awards – from our use of social media to covering food policy and women’s health.

Soon we’ll be launching a brand new video experience that makes all our video – from our live feed to full episodes, and from TV clips to digital originals – look incredible. It’s state of the art and I’m sure it will help us stand out from the crowd.

While we’re celebrating, I want to thank Dafna Linzer for leading the home page and editorial operation;  Beth Fouhy for managing our breakout reporters; Sam Go for running the all-important teams on TV and original video; Farra Kober for a social and community operation that is expanding both our audience and our mix of stories; Amy Pereira for the photos that make our home page look stunning; Brian Martin for a design and product team that is delivering the best in the business; our technical team under John Keegan for building every line of code from scratch; and Sonali Pathak for growing the digital business at a very rapid rate.