This weekend, Microsoft and NBC announced the separation of media brands. MSNBC had previously sold NBC its stake in the television network, but it is now relinquishing its share in the MSNBC.com website - the fourth most popular news website. The website has been rebranded as NBCNews.com.
I wonder whether this will cause the perception of MSNBC's left-lean to spill onto the NBC News brand. That doesn't seem like a benefit to NBC which I assume prefers to retain a perception of newutrality. Perhaps Microsoft insisted on the name change, or perhaps the perception of MSNBC.com is very different from the MSNBC television brand. Or maybe this is really designed to put more distance than already exists between the MSNBC brand and the NBC brand. Whatever - this is surely a walk on the tightrope for NBC owner Comcast.
In the short term at least, I suspect that loads of lefties will be visiting MSNBC.com and be surprised that it is now called NBC. Whether that makes them think the website has moved to the right, or NBC has moved to the left, remains to be seen.