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NBC takes control of MSNBC television network

Microsoft and NBC will dissolve their joint ownership of the decade-old pay television news channel, MSNBC.

NBC will take operating control of MSNBC immediately, and within two years will become its sole owner. Financial details were not announced and there was no word on whether the name of the channel will change.

The two companies will continue their equal joint ownership of the MSNBC Website.

Established in 1995, MSNBC has long struggled for ratings. Microsoft, long ago disenchanted with the broadcast enterprise, has been public in its regret for entering the partnership.

Microsoft has agreed to a 99-year partnership, initially invested about $500 million, and then committed to paying NBC about $30 million a year in license fees.

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