Microsoft and NBC are ending their joint-venture MSNBC which once embraced both a TV channel and web-service. The TV side of the venture is now under the Comcast umbrella following the cable giant’s acquisition of NBC. NBC will buy out Microsoft’s remaining share of the venture which includes the web-based service. No terms have been revealed. Microsoft’s initial investment in the project was $220 million.
The separation actually started back in 2005 when Microsoft exited the cable TV channel. Once the separation is concluded MSNBC will be rebranded as NBC News and NBCNews.com. The web service will shift from Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington state, probably close to NBC’s Rockefeller Centre news headquarters in New York although some staff will remain based in Seattle.
It is widely expected that Microsoft will launch its own news service this autumn.