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Microsoft Deletes MSNBC's 16-Year Partnership
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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In 1996, Microsoft and NBC met, courted, and entered a relationship that would put all of NBC's online portals on one platform: MSNBC. In 2012, last Friday, to be exact, NBC bought out Microsoft's 50-percent ownership in the beleaguered network and the divorce was final. As Bill Gates left 30 Rock's parking lot with a suitcase full of cash in a cloud of smoke and skid marks, the former MSNBC unveiled NBCNews.com. Of course, their online statement about the change states that while the name has changed, the commitment to "news" has not. 

Yeah, that's sweet, but was it really news lately? If you have any questions, consider its PR issues:

1. Keith Olbermann. The former Countdown host, once-removed from Al Gore's Current TV, was considered to never be a big fan of America, as seen during this good times rant. He was suspended and then fired. He was brilliant on ESPN. He showed that brilliance covering the news on MSNBC, and then he stopped covering the news...and began offering his viewers his opinions on the news. Out of the five viewers he had, three stopped watching and Mr. Olbermann was shown the door and place to land his hurled tuckus. 

2. Ed Schultz. With never a missed opportunity to showcase his class, he forgot this was a news station and decided to call Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut." Yeah, because that had everything to do with the news. So, he made national news and caused Bill Gates' bursitis to flare up. Probably his hemorrhoids, too, given that Ed was probably a pain in his...well, you get the idea. 

3. More from Ed. When reporting Dick Cheney's heart surgery, you would think the purpose would be to inform the public of his condition. Well, kinda. Schultz urged his viewers to "rip out [Cheney's] new heart." Nice, because when I watch the news, I want to hear good wishes like that to a former Vice President. It's not like I was a member of Cheney's fan club, but homicide? Come on, Edward. Stop being like Cheney's first name. 

4. Al Sharpton. There's no denying his personal sacrifice for this country's fight for civil rights. And I applaud him for that. However, did the fight need to continue when he suggested some racial violence over the Trayvon Martin case? Let's keep hope alive, okay there? 

There's more to report, but what's the use. MSNBC "leaned forward" so much, they fell over a bridge and plummeted to the bottom of the ravine. According to many reports (including this one by The Daily Beast), 2005 was a tumultous year for the doltful duo. The true partnership dissolved but the initials remained. In 2010, after many ballyhooed calls to Bill Gates about supporting the liberal network, the two foundations considered parting ways again. Today it's final, and the website will has been kicked out of the husband's corporate campus in Redmond, Wash. and will head to the Big Apple. 

Fitting, considering many Americans watch this network and just get worms. However, they feel the same way watching FOX and CNN, so maybe I'll just go back to reading the Drudge Report and make up my own mind. Besides, all that leaning makes me dizzy. 



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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is G.M. and PR Director at Bolt PR in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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