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NBCU Acquiring Controlling Interest In MSNBC Cable; MSNBC.com Partnership To Continue

Microsoft and NBC are getting a divorce. NBC Universal has “acquired a controlling interest in MSNBC and an option to acquire 100% of the cable channel within two years,” the pair announced this morning. “NBC Universal and Microsoft have also reaffirmed their strong commitment to MSNBC.com, which will remain equally owned by both parties. Terms were not disclosed.” “Microsoft is getting out of the TV business,” an e-mailer says, nearly 10 years after the MSNBC cable channel was born.

Steve Capus says: “Acquiring a controlling interest in MSNBC will allow us to fully integrate the channel into our News operations and our overall cable platform. MSNBC is a critical component of NBC News’ success and has made some key viewership gains in recent months. Our partnership in the nation’s leading cable and broadcast news website, MSNBC.com, keeps us on the leading edge in the online world. This combination of assets is unrivaled in network news, and we look forward to continuing a productive relationship with Microsoft for many years to come.”

Microsoft corporate VP Bruce Jaffe says: “Together, Microsoft and NBC Universal have grown MSNBC.com to the No. 1 news site. We are totally committed to taking MSNBC.com to even higher levels of success through our unparalleled marriage of technological innovation and news content.”

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