Microsoft Unloads MSNBC.com Stake to Comcast for $300 Million

Paul Lilly

It's been a 16-year run for Microsoft and NBC in a joint venture known as MSNBC.com, and that run is coming to a halt. Comcast, the parent company of NBC, has acquired Microsoft's 50 percent stake in the online interactive news site, paying a reported $300 million to gain full control of the digital business. As part of the deal, the site loses its MS tag and is now renamed to NBCNews.com.

Jennifer Sizemore, Editor-in-Chief of NBCNews.com, posted a note announcing the name change, while assuring readers that this move doesn't signal a dying interest in the site.

"While our name is changing, our commitment is not," Sizemore said . "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. Over the years, we’ve won dozens of awards for our digital coverage, but the real reward has been serving you, our audience."

A report in The New York Times valued the transaction at $300 million, a number it obtained from "people with knowledge of the transaction." Part of that money is based on the site's past profits.

As for MSNBC, it isn't marching off into the digital graveyard, not yet anyway. Sizemore says it will relaunch as MSNBC TV next year.

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