Msnbc.com Acquires Newsvine

I grew up in an NBC household. Some of my earliest TV memories were sitting in the living room at 6pm with my parents and watching the nightly news with David Brinkley, John Chancellor, and later Tom Brokaw. I didn’t always understand what was going on in the world, but it was my half hour nightly glimpse into life beyond Pacific Palisades, California, where I grew up. Old habits die hard when it comes to news network allegiances and I continued to turn to the peacock for news into my teen years and through college.

In November of 2000, that all changed. Although politics have never interested me in the least bit, the Bush/Gore election and the epic amount of controversy that resulted from it turned the news world upside down. In my mind, that was the beginning of the 24/7 news cycle, at least in the United States. I found myself instantly wanting more than the standard 30 minutes of national news NBC gave me every night. During this frantic period, many people turned to cable news for their 24/7 news fix, and that’s when I found MSNBC.

Suddenly, whenever I turned on my TV, there was election coverage available. Who was this Ashleigh Banfield girl? I didn’t know, but I liked her. Where did all of these reporters suddenly come from? And whoa, what’s this? A double-length version of the Nightly News anchored by Brian Williams? I’m in!

Fast-forward several months later when everyone thought the 24/7 news cycle might have peaked, and then came September 11th, 2001 — the most shocking event that anyone alive today has ever witnessed and probably ever will. News activity was completely off the charts again. And who was right there with the best 24/7 coverage again? MSNBC. For the next several years, as the incident slowly turned into the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, I found myself still turning to the Micro-Peacock — both online and off — for my most important news consumption. It is still the source from which most of my mainstream news comes from.

It is therefore with great pride, that I can announce the company I co-founded two years ago, Newsvine, has just been acquired by msnbc.com.

Wow, I’ve been waiting a few months to say that. It feels great to finally make the news public.

Msnbc.com is one of the most decorated, highly trafficked news sites on the web, and is ranked as one of the top news site overall, according to virtually every measurement service. More than one billion page views a month strong, and run by some of the smartest people in the industry, msnbc.com represents a lot of what online news ought to be about: immersive interactive news experiences, award-winning journalism, stunning photography, thoughtful UI, and scalability a startup like Newsvine could never dream of achieving on its own. It is a separate company from the TV side of NBC News and MSNBC the cable channel, but all the organizations work together to complement each other online and off.

Msnbc.com, the news site, has always been a daily visit for me. They were the first to have a professionally typeset cover story when they launched their legendary Roger Black design back in the 1990s. They’ve also produced some of the best interactive news experiences like The Darkest Day (9/11) and Rising from Ruin (Hurricane Katrina). Throw in the stunning photo galleries, a wealth of news video, and an impressive army of award-winning print journalists and it’s easy to see what makes the site so special.

So why would an independent, cost-efficient, growing startup like Newsvine which has taken very little venture capital want to join a huge organization like msnbc.com? The answer comes down to global impact. Our goal at Newsvine has always been to spread the ethos of participatory news as far and wide as possible, and what more dramatic way can that be accomplished than with a partner who reaches 85 million computers a month and has an offline presence on nearly every television set in the country?

We never set out to prove that grassroots media was better than mainstream media or vice-versa. The theory, in fact, has been quite the opposite: that given the right environment, an ecosystem where big and little media make each other stronger can be developed. This has been proven out on the Newsvine site itself since we launched about a year and a half ago, and it’s now going to go prime time. We’re so excited.

One the most important aspects of this deal for both organizations was that Newsvine will continue to run independently, from a brand and operational perspective. They are two different sites with two entirely different brand expectations. That said, we’re thrilled to be working with a parent who resides right across Lake Washington from us, a mere 20 minutes away. Of all the companies who’ve come knocking since launch, never has a relationship of such geographical advantage matched this one. It’s a win for the Newsvine community, a win for msnbc.com, a win for our investors at Second Avenue, and a win for the Seattle region as well.

Wish us luck as we continue our mission of evolving online news.

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84 Responses:

  1. anon says:

    Congratulations, you deserve it. Hopefully, you’ll influence MSNBC.com because I for one think it’s one of the worst of the major news websites out there. I rarely if ever visit it. Maybe that will change now.

  2. Congratulations, Mike! A great outcome to some phenomenal work in a relatively-short period of time. I’m excited to see what comes out of it.

  3. […] Mike Davidson – Msnbc.com Acquires Newsvine […]

  4. Jeff says:

    Cha-Ching!

    Congrats!!

  5. […] Congratulations Mike! Spread the word! […]

  6. Congrats Commish!

  7. […] the popular news site has been acquired by MSNBC. That’s quite impressive for a “grass roots” news site that has only […]

  8. Willi says:

    Congrats!!! Nice job. Great execution.

  9. Jason says:

    Wow! Way to go Mike!

  10. Congratulations Mike! Very cool stuff. Hope it’s all you want it to be…

  11. Congratulations, whats next?

  12. […] the social news site, has been acquired by msnbc.com for an undisclosed all cash deal. Now that Newsvine is part of the mainstream media, the whole “we are different” selling point is over. […]

  13. That’s awesome Mike! Congratulations.

  14. Elliot Y. says:

    Well done, Mike! Congrats! You’ve come a long way from our ESPN and Sherpas days together! :) Keep up the good work and thanks, as always, for being a great mentor!

  15. Congratulations.

  16. Ryejayd says:

    CONGRATS! Very proud of you dude. Life somehow keeps getting better…

  17. Charter says:

    Mike,
    Nice work! Now you will have more time for golf and skiing.
    It has been fun to follow Newsvine’s progress.
    Charter

  18. […] uutistuotannon airut Newsvine on myyty msnbc:lle. Newsvine on pienin merkittävä sosiaalisen median sivusto, joka on suhteellisen tunnettu, kasvava […]

  19. […] Mike Davidson, Newsvine.com, and over a dozen other sources have all been blogging today about the acquisition of Newsvine.com by MSNBC.com. […]

  20. Nice work Mike! Let’s toast to the news next time you’re in NYC. I’ll bring the saltines. – Hop

  21. […] Mike Davidson – Msnbc.com Acquires Newsvine “So why would an independent, cost-efficient, growing startup like Newsvine which has taken very little venture capital want to join a huge organization like msnbc.com? The answer comes down to global impact.” (tags: newsvine msnbc.com journalistik den_sociala_webben mike_davidson) […]

  22. Khoi Vinh says:

    Congratulations, Mike, I hope it’s the beginning of a terrific new chapter for Newsvine. Of course, this means we can’t be friends any more.

  23. Wow, congrats Mike! Sounds like a great match.

  24. Congrats, Mike – good things come to those who create. Well deserved.

  25. Don says:

    Well I guess that John McCain prank got you noticed and you closed the deal. Hope you made enough to justify giving up independence.

  26. […] at NBC negatively effect what is essentially built as an open source news model. Newsvine CEO Mike Davidson has publicly promised for the site to continue to operate independently of its new […]

  27. That’s great news Mike… I remember over two years ago how you described the process you went through to buy the Newsvine domain name and I predicted to myself at the time “I’ll bet he sells that domain in a couple of years time”… yep, I was right :-)

  28. MrQwest says:

    Woah, Congratulations to you Mike & the whole Newsvine team. I hope the future’s bright for you all :)

  29. Will says:

    Hey Mike!! Congrats and I wish you all the best of luck!

    But ahhh, I didn’t know how to contact you, but something is seriously wrong with your myspace hack code!!! Everyone who is using your code has their profile all jumbled up, including yours! Please take a look at it?? We’d all really appreciate your help!! I guess MySpace has been fooling with their coding…please help!! THANKS MIKE!!! :D

  30. Eric says:

    Congrats Mike! I have been following your progress since the beginning and a user of NV ever since it launched.

  31. […] научих от блога на Майк Дейвидсън, че Newsvine е продадена на […]

  32. Collin says:

    Wow, congrats. It’s the dream of every Internet entrepreneur to create something, water it, let the sunlight get to it and then sell it to the highest bidder. Good job.

  33. […] months now and the deal was finally at the point to make it public. You can find out more over at Mike Industries, on Newsvine , TechCrunchor even on the MSNBC web site about […]

  34. […] controversial speeches to the newsroom about audience participation.When the transaction closed on October 5th, 2007, the team began a long, successful journey helping modernize an already modern news organization. […]

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