7/16/2012

So why did Microsoft and NBC split on MSNBC?

Here was the original explanation that I saw from Howard Kurtz:
“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.” . . .
If NBC were already concerned about the brand confusion, it would seem that it would be easy to confirm by whether NBC now changes the hard left bent of the programing on what has been MSNBC. But that seems unlikely to happen.

Well, the Associated Press has this quite different and what appears to be a much more accurate take.

Microsoft, in particular, had grown frustrated by contract terms requiring it to exclusively feature MSNBC.com content on its own websites. That exasperation was exacerbated by the MSNBC cable channel's strategy to counter Fox News Channel's appeal to conservative viewers by tailoring its programming for an audience with a liberal viewpoint.

The strategy fed a perception that material from MSNBC's website was politically slanted, too.

"Being limited to MSNBC.com content was problematic to us because we couldn't have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted," said Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com. . . .

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