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Microsoft Businesses The Media

NBC Purchases MSNBC Rights From Microsoft 209

flatt writes "Ending a sixteen year partnership between the now Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and Microsoft, the website has been immediately renamed to Both parties note that the integration between both parties is deep and will require 2 years to complete the decoupling. For the immediate future, NBC will continue to provide news content for and Microsoft will continue to be the advertising provider for the site. Content control, brand confusion, and partisan content are cited as reasons behind the breakup. Microsoft sold its 50% share in the MSNBC TV rights to NBC back in 2005."
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NBC Purchases MSNBC Rights From Microsoft

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  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @05:29AM (#40661221)

    Wait, I'm confused. This story suggests that this sale of the Microsoft share of MSNBC is a recent thing, but the summary says the sale happened in 2005. Is this old news, or did Microsoft have additional ownership that has recently (like within this calendar year) been purchased as well to finalize the split?

  • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @06:38AM (#40661411)

    When this transaction first happened in the 90s, it didn't make sense to me. Why was MS starting a news channel and a news website, when NBC was already there, and MS really had nothing to bring to the party. I know, that was the era of Friends and Seinfeld, which made NBC far more attractive than Fox, ABC and CBS. However, MS made itself look like a shill for the Left in the eyes of Conservatives, even while it was being investigated by the DoJ for its monopolistic practices.

    And these days, do too many people go to these sites? I'd imagine that they go to blogs that have the news about their subject of interest, and go there. This is different from the days of first Usenet, and later, web sites of news organizations. Nowadays, people just throng to the websites they trust, and follow whatever news they want there.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:25AM (#40661553) Journal

    You're being overly paranoid. Newspaper and websites want eyeballs so they can sell advertising and make money. Now, individual authors and writers might have their own point of view, but so does everyone.

    You do realize that eyeball-herding celebrity gossip and 'infotainment' fluff are probably overwhelmingly more efficient in neutralizing the effects of a free press than simply having your Political Kommisars order them to publish assorted farcical lies?

    Propaganda in the classic sense certainly isn't a total failure; but a voluntarily afactual media is ultimately even more useless than one that is merely contrafactual.

  • by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:48AM (#40661633) Homepage
    When did Microsoft insert political bias into You think NBC would care anyhow? Have you watched MSNBC? It's like the Fox partisan line-up on steroids.
  • by Goody ( 23843 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @07:51AM (#40661655) Journal

    I think that PBS is every bit as biased as Fox and MSNBC.

    What are the equivalencies to Beck, Fox and Friends, Hannity, Maddow, or Olbermann on PBS? PBS is appealing to left leaning upper middle class because the content doesn't cater to political wingnuts like Fox and MSNBC. You're confusing content with bias. When a Fox producer gets caught on the job riling up a crowd at a Tea Party event, Beck promotes "Fox Tea Parties", or reports the ACA being upheld as affirmation of ObamaTax, that's bias.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @08:01AM (#40661695)

    It is kinda funny, when MSNBC started it was considered a Right Leaning, new organization, then Fox News came out, making it seem much to moderate. So to survive, it went to more left leaning then the other stations. So in terms of Cable News you have these options...
    Fox News, News for Right Wing Nuts, Fare and balanced if you are right wing nut.
    CNN, News for those people who really don't care, in an attempt to be moderate it doesn't really go into any depth.
    MSNBC, New For Liberals, Hard hitting on the liberal agenda.

    I am a political moderate myself and I don't care for any of these sites, I seem to switch to NPR, While it is left of center, and I am right of center, I found that NPR puts a little more depth in its coverage compared to the others, and doesn't really jump on the insanity.

  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @08:30AM (#40661821) Homepage Journal

    Sorry.. I can't take this type of comment seriously without a second sentence about Fox News being an arm of the RNC (or the whitehouse itself during the Bush years).

    To mention only one is hypocrisy.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @08:56AM (#40661967) Journal

    It doesn't matter how factual your news report is, if no one wants to read it.

    Wow, there's a lot of subtext in that.

    Read that statement over a few times. "It doesn't matter how factual your news report is, if no one wants to read it.

    If you had the "most factual" accounts of the news, and nobody wants to read or watch it, then it says a lot more about the viewers, and maybe the medium, then it does about the news.

    "I don't want the factual news, I want the news that has my point of view"

    Is not that different from, "It's got what plants crave..."

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:18AM (#40662095) Journal
    Both have partisan viewpoints, but that is all the commonality. When it comes to admitting errors, saying "There I go, but for the grace of God" when CNN flubbed the ACA decision, issuing corrections, Maddow is way way better than Hannity.

    And here is the clincher: Maddow has a light saber in her desk. [] Hannity comes nowhere close to being as cool as Maddow.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:30AM (#40662157)

    This is a revelation to you? The vast majority of American media is skewed to one political bias or another and few are willing to publish the hard facts. That's all the gp was saying and you got modded up for pointing out how sad of a fact it was? Slashdot really amazes me. But then again, around here we have a fair number of dopes who honestly believe that the reason people still run Windows and OSX is because they've never seen Linux. SMH.

  • get real. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:41AM (#40662239) Homepage

    it's biased towards "highbrow" which is to appeal to left leaning upper middle class people.

    right, because PBS and NPR are trying to promote enriching and beneficial news and entertainment in separate realms. as for the left leaning upper middle class people, i guess they just havent succumbed to the sophistication of nascar and larry the cable guy.

    It focuses much more on culture that the masses don't care about (such as opera).

    So the acclaimed science program Nova, Inspector Lewis, Downtown Abbey, and Childrens programming like Barney? im sure there are others []

    Oddly, it's pro investing but mildly anti-business

    so a television station that isnt willing to just carte blanche pander for advertising cash and instead gets a chance to truly criticize things like hydraulic fracturing and the pharmaceutical industry has somehow become a bad thing.

    I doubt your brother has ever watched PBS (the "listeny" one is called NPR, both under the CPB but separate entities.) flamebait bullshit like "theres a small bit of truth" is the same crap FOX does in order to gin up dissent against anything that goes against the GOP or its inherent interests. it would be better to say "my brother once watched Tavis Smiley form a coherent and well structured argument against the established patterns and processes of social inequality as it applies to race, and that didnt fit with my american dream narrative so now the entire station is some sort of marxist cabal."

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:57AM (#40662355) Journal

    Or it could be that they thought that a "proper" news organization like MSNBC shouldn't be so buddy buddy with the left, that they even report on their own website [] how skewed they are:

    There's a word for "they even report on their own website". It's called "disclosure" and it's something MSNBC is doing that Fox doesn't do, CNN doesn't do, and ABC doesn't do.

    Never mind that their prime time news personality (Chris Matthews) used to be Chief of Staff for the Democratic Speaker of the House during the Reagan years - yep, that engenders political objectivity...

    You're a big supporter of every company where you used to work? You think Burger Village is the best food in town just because you flipped burgers there and got to be assistant manager when the previous assistant manager left to have her father's baby?

    Go take a look at the pundits and talking heads on every network. They all used to do something. They all voted one way or the other (most likely) and they all have a sexual orientation, a religion (or not) and probably prefer either Apple or Android.

    It's really not hard to discern who's ringing the bullshit bell (and for whom it tolls) if you have half a brain and the willingness to check your own bias once in a while. Also, check a fact now and then. Do it yourself. If you are checking a media outlet's facts against what another media outlet's "fact checker" says, your running in a circle, so don't rely on "fact checker sites" to be your ref because now every two-bit Right Wing (or Left Wing depending upon your own in-house bias) outfit has it's own "fact check" site that is supposedly telling you how full of shit the other side is. Yes, it gets confusing, but if you act in good faith, and (I'm not kidding about this) have a heart that is pure you'll be able to figure it all out easily enough.

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @09:59AM (#40662369) Homepage Journal

    For years FOX existed and nothing similar existed on the left.

    Just the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @10:59AM (#40662893) Homepage Journal

    While MSNBC is skewed to the left, to suggest they are skewed further from reality than fox has to be either misinformed or disingenuous.

  • by eepok ( 545733 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:11AM (#40663009) Homepage

    I don't think you understand the difference between "bias" in news/reporting and "targeting" in entertainment. ESPN is not "biased" toward a lowbrow audience because focus on ball-sports. That's their entertainment niche. If they reported unfairly toward one team or the next, then that would be bias.

    And what does "pro-environmental" mean? That they would like the natural environment to continue to exist?

    They're also not anti-business. Never does PBS say anything like, "We should not organize into consolidated sales or service providers to create a streamlined delivery and accounting process." They're against corrupt business. They're bearish investors. They prefer honest and safe investment. But when corrupt business is the means to a new bubble and the myth of perpetual growth, anyone who speaks against such irrational buying will be said to be "anti-business".

    They're also not "pro-welfare state", they're pro-healthy-people. Check out the Frontline (I think it was Frontline) episode "Sick Around the World". The reporter goes to different countries finding out how other nations keep their people healthy (Britain, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, etc.). They show faults with all their systems and constantly show contrast with our system which is globally acknowledges to have some of the lowest value of care for the highest cost.

    What you may need to acknowledge is that, in balanced investigation and reporting, if some things seem to consistently come out to be favorable, that might not be bias... but reality.

  • by slapout ( 93640 ) on Monday July 16, 2012 @11:17AM (#40663077)

    "NBC aims to be objective"

    You're talking about the same NBC that edited the Zimmerman tape []? The same NBC that edited the Romney video [] to change the context? Right?

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.