Another driver was MSNBC, the cable channel, which started to take on a politically progressive persona several years ago. As the image of MSNBC changed, the head of MSNBC.com, Charlie Tillinghast, floated a name change.
“Both strategies are fine, but naming them the same thing is brand insanity,” Charlie Tillinghast said to his staff in early 2010.
NBC and Microsoft could not agree on proposed changes that year. But conversations resumed after Comcast acquired a majority stake in NBCUniversal in early 2011. Divorce talks between Comcast and Microsoft started in earnest last winter and were reported by a number of media outlets in the spring. The deal was signed last Friday.
For now, MSNBC.com will automatically redirect browsers to NBCNews.com…At first, the site will retain sections for MSNBC’s political programs like “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “Morning Joe.” But those will be moved onto a new MSNBC.com early next year.
Said John Kelly, “There’s a big opportunity for the MSNBC cable brand to have its own digital destination.”
Source: N. Y. Times - Microsoft and NBC Complete Web Divorce