After ironing out the buy back rights with Microsoft, NBC on Sunday officially changed MSNBC.com to NBCNews.com.
While the site has been rebranded with a new name a post on the NBCNews.com website states that the only difference at this time is the name and URL change. MSNBC.com visitors for the meantime will be redirected to NBCNews.com.
Financial terms for the deal have not yet been disclosed.
The new website will become part of NBC News Digital, a new division led by Vivian Schiller. You may recall that Schiller was the president and CEO of National Public Radio (NPR).
Schiller tells NBCNews.com:
“Some really talented journalists have passed through the doorway of msnbc.com and taken us to the point where we have something that is an outstanding set of properties, and we value them to such a degree that we decided that we wanted to own them outright.”
Eventually MSNBC will become the address of MSNBC TV.
The move makes sense for NBC as the company attempts to break up its online and TV properties into separate entities which can in turn offer their own commentary or straight news reporting styles as they have for years.
The sites focus in the meantime will remain unchanged and the company’s staff will remain in place. The biggest exception will be the removal of MSNBC.com employees from Microsoft’s campus to a different NBC News location.
NBC executives believe the takeover will take two-years to complete fully because of Microsoft’s deep technological roots associated with the former joint-venture. NBC is now owned by Comcast Corp. which also has strong technological know-how.
Microsoft and NBCNews.com are not completely separated, Microsoft will continue to sell advertising inventory for NBCNews.com for an undisclosed period of time.
49.9 million unique visitors stopped by MSNBC.com in June 2012, making it one of the largest news portals on the web.