Following on from intense recent speculation that the online marriage between Microsoft and NBC was on the brink of a blockbuster divorce deal, news emerged today that Comcast, the parent company of US broadcaster NBC, has completed the buyout.
Comcast has acquired Microsoft's 50 per cent stake in MSNBC.com to finalise the separation of the two companies, in a settlement reported by the New York Times to be worth $300 million, or £193 million based on today's exchange rate.
ITProPortal reported the split to be imminent last Thursday, with the corporate divorce going more or less according to plan and the popular web news portal that was MSNBC.com now re-directing to a new domain, NBCNews.com.
"Today we're taking on a new name — NBCNews.com. While our name is changing, our commitment is not...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." Jennifer Sizemore, editor-in-chief of NBCNews.com, said in a letter posted on the company's website.
Sizemore also seemed to confirm that NBC's desire to better separate the left-leaning MSNBC television channel from the more middle-of-the-road news site of the same name was one of the driving forces of the deal, with her letter also noting that the on-air news outlet would enjoy a new, dedicated web portal in 2013.
NBC and Microsoft first cosied up in 1996 to create a cable news channel and a digital news site in what was at the time a fairly revolutionary cross-over between the established world of broadcasting and the still-emerging Internet. Microsoft left the TV wing in NBC's sole control back in 2005.