NBC News Acquires Microsoft's 50% Stake in MSNBC Digital Network

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Microsoft (MSFT) has unloaded its 50% stake in MSNBC Digital Network, giving full ownership of the joint venture to Comcast’s (CMCSA) NBC News.

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The joint venture, which was formed in 1996, houses a slew of media sites including msnbc.com, TODAY.com, NightlyNews.com, BreakingNews.com and Newsvine.com.

The companies didn’t disclose a price tag on the sale of the 50% stake.

NBC said all of its NBC News digital businesses, including the MSNBC Digital Network properties, will now combine to form a new division called NBC News Digital. This unit will be run by Vivian Shiller, chief digital officer of NBC News.

As part of this transition, the current msnbc.com site has become NBCNews.com. MSNBC TV plans to launch a new digital home in 2013.

"When msnbc.com launched 16 years ago, it set the standard for how people consume news online--creating trends and leading the marketplace,” Steve Capus, president of NBC News, said in a statement. “Today, NBC News enters a new phase of its history better positioned to compete and grow in a digital environment.”

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NBC said it plans to keep a “substantial presence” in the Seattle area, eventually building the NBC News Innovation Center that will focus on digital innovation and technology.