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NBC News Selling TheGrio.com

The GrioFirst on TVNewser: NBC News is selling TheGrio.com back to its original owners, TVNewser has learned.

The African American news and politics site will be sold back to David Wilson and Dan Woolsey later this month. The duo, along with NBC, launched the website in 2009.  NBC bought it outright in 2010.

With the change in ownership, the staff of four full-timers based in New York will no longer be NBC News employees. There’s no word on whether staffing levels will change under the new ownership. NBCNews.com plans to launch a new vertical geared toward African Americans at the end of the summer. MSNBC.com will continue its content partnership with The Grio based around breaking news and politics. MSNBC TV’s audience is 35% African American, the highest of the cable news channels.

We’re hearing the change comes as The Grio looks to move in a more viral direction, expanding entertainment content, original video, and targeting a mobile and social media-oriented audience. For NBC News’ part, the creation of a new section with original reporting relevant to African Americans comes as NBCNews.com’s traffic has declined -12% from January through June. As we reported, the website’s traffic dip has come in part from a loss in referral traffic from MSN along with NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com launching two unique sites.

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