TLP: Somewhere, Someone is Happily Saying 'I Told You So'
It's not the first time that parents have wanted to distance themselves from a mouthy and opinionated 14-year-old. But changing the family name and moving away seems a little extreme. Pity poor little msnbc.com.
NBC Universal and Microsoft, the parents of msnbc.com, are holding high-level talks about changing its name, an unusual and potentially risky endeavor for the third most popular news Web site in the United States.Sounds a little tricky. The website is successful, but makes everybody think whatever it is they think about the cable network. Olbermann and Maddow are about as polarizing as O'Reilly and Beck. And Chris Matthews (he's not the one who died, is he?) works himself into a grating lather pretty quickly.
The two parents have not yet agreed on what to call the site. But according to internal memorandums obtained by The New York Times this week, the parents have concluded that the brand known as msnbc.com, a strictly objective news site, is widely confused with MSNBC, the cable television channel that has taken a strongly liberal bent in recent years.
Charlie Tillinghast, the president of msnbc.com, wrote in one of the memos, “Both strategies are fine, but naming them the same thing is brand insanity.” The channel and Web site are already separate companies.
Under the current plan, the msnbc.com Web address would become a site exclusively for the cable channel, fulfilling the channel’s desire to have an independent site to promote its TV programs. The existing news site, called the “blue site” internally, would move to a new and as-yet-undetermined Web address. There is a subsection on msnbc.com for the cable channel.
The network of Web sites under the msnbc.com umbrella are visited by almost 50 million Internet users each month, according to the measurement firm comScore. Only two news brands, Yahoo and CNN.com, are bigger. ...
The change is being contemplated because MSNBC and msnbc.com are on somewhat divergent paths.
They were founded together in 1996 by NBC and Microsoft, with the cable television channel based in New Jersey and the Web site based at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash. In 2005, NBC bought Microsoft’s stake in the cable channel, but the two parents remained together for the Web site, which is a crucial provider of content to Microsoft’s MSN.com portal.
And, as parents know, there's no guarantee the kid will like the decision. Especially a teen.