The long-rumored media breakup has finally come to pass: NBC News and Microsoft have called it quits on joint venture MSNBC.com, reports the New York Times. Sixteen years after the pioneering partnership began, NBC parent company Comcast bought out Microsoft's 50% stake, reportedly for $300 million. Indeed, trips to MSNBC.com now redirect to NBCNews.com, which, with the exception of a new logo, currently looks unchanged. "What we have right now is fine," said NBC News President Steve Capus of MSNBC.com. "But I hate the word 'fine.' We want something more than fine."
While the partnership started strong, transformations to media in the Internet age soon made it more of a handicap for both sides. The fact that Microsoft controlled ad sales frustrated NBC, and Microsoft felt hampered by its inability to make non-NBC partnerships for its MSN.com website. MSNBC.com isn't dead and gone for good: The site will relaunch next year as a stand-alone site for the cable news channel. And MSNBC will continue to send traffic to NBCNews.com via MSN—at least for now.