MSNBC Changing Name to NBC News
Matt Drudge has the following:
MSNBC TO CHANGE ITS NAME, THE DRUDGE REPORT HAS LEARNED. THE ALL-NEWS CABLE NETWORK, WHICH WAS FOUNDED AS JOINT EFFORT BETWEEN MICROSOFT AND NBC, WILL SIMPLY BECOME ‘THE NBC NEWS CHANNEL’… TOP SOURCE EXPLAINS: ‘THE NEW NAME IS CLEANER, LESS CONFUSING.
Interestingly, when I was in the green room of MSNBC’s Washington bureau on Thursday I noted a poster on the wall for “NBC News Channel.” I was wondering what the deal was.
The shorter name is indeed more streamlined, reflecting the natural synergy with NBC News. One wonders why Microsoft would drop their name from the endeavor. For that matter, one wonders about the fate of CNBC, NBC’s other cable news channel.
Update: The Raw Story explains the background:
The Microsoft corporationÃ¢€”which at one time had both a news television channel and a leading online newsmagazineÃ¢€”is ready to divorce NBC News and depart MSNBC, RAW STORY has learned.
MSNBC is said to roughly break even; it has never been terribly profitable. Microsoft quit its online ‘zine, Slate, in December, selling the venerable but also underperforming site to the Washington Post Company. The cable news and Internet venture between Microsoft Corp. and the NBC network, didn’t achive profitability until the second quarter of 2001. It was launched in July 1996, shortly after Fox News Channel, which far exceeded profitability expectations, and left MSNBC a distant third to Fox and CNN.
The irreverent Drudge Report asserts that the channel’s revised name will be the NBC News Channel.
The New York Post reported in March that talks centered around NBC taking sole control of the news company, with Microsoft having rights to use some of its online news content.
This version of events makes much more sense. It’s not a rebranding effort but the departure of the “MS” part of “MSNBC.”