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Key links:
Primary website:
nbcnews.com
Primary Twitter:
@NBCNews

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

NBC News is a television network news operation, a division of NBC.

NBC News’ programming includes the NBC Nightly News, Today, Meet the Press, and Dateline. In addition, the division provides content for the cable news channel MSNBC and business news channel CNBC.

NBC News is the United States’ leading television news outlet, consistently ranking as the most profitable network news division, largely because of revenue brought in by MSNBC.

NBC News is owned by NBC Universal, which is owned by the cable company Comcast, which bought a 51% stake in NBC Universal for $30 billion in January 2011. (It bought the remainder of the company from General Electric in 2013.) The deal was originally announced in December 2009 and received federal approval in January 2011 on several conditions, including that Comcast would add local TV news programming on the stations it owns, and partner with local nonprofit news organizations. The acquisition was criticized by some as giving Comcast too much power.

Comcast has relatively little experience in news media ownership, though its executives have said NBC News is an important part of their purchase.

NBC has experimented in digital journalism, starting with Internet-based video reports in 2007. The network hired Mara Schiavocampo as its first “digital correspondent,” producing online video. In 2013, it bought Stringwire, a company that allows video to be streamed from eyewitnesses in the network’s control rooms. In 2014, it invested in and partnered with the social video news company NowThis News, and partnered with the tech news site Recode.

In 2007, NBC renamed its owned-and-operated stations NBC Local Media. NBC relaunched those 10 stations’ websites in 2008 and in 2009 implemented a “mood” application that tracked readers’ emotional reactions to the sites’ stories. In 2011, it announced that 10 of those stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia would begin sharing content with local nonprofit news outlets and ProPublica. Several owned-and-operated stations have also partnered with Instagram to solicit viewer photos to use on air and online. Nationally, it partnered with Newsweek and the Daily Beast on digital coverage of the 2012 campaign. In 2013, it began partnering with the global news organization GlobalPost on international coverage.

NBC has also indicated an interest in expanding those sites to markets with affiliated stations, potentially in conflict with those stations’ sites. Additionally, NBC provides news video clips to local pages on Microsoft’s MSN web network.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
May 4, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
Snapchat ends publisher subsidies, but NowThis will launch the app’s first realtime breaking news channel — It’s redesign time: After redesigning its app (and now announcing plans to tweak the redesign), Snap has been redesigning its news offerings and publisher deals. NowThis will start a breaking news channel on Snapch...
Jan. 25, 2018 / Ricardo Bilton
With Left Field, NBC News is experimenting with VR, mixed reality, and other new story forms — The future of video at NBC News isn’t at 30 Rockefeller Plaza — it’s at a co-working space off Union Square. NBC Left Field, a 12-person experimental video unit, launched last July with a simple but strateg...
July 19, 2017 / Christine Schmidt
NBC News invents the script for a twice-daily Snapchat news show — NBC News is launching morning and evening news programs that will be broadcast exclusively on Snapchat Discover, starting on Wednesday. As part of NBC Universal’s $500 million investment in Snap, Inc., the network ...
May 19, 2017 / Joseph Lichterman
This is the story behind that double push alert The New York Times sent about Comey’s Trump memo — Just before 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, millions of New York Times app users saw — twice — the news that ousted FBI director James Comey had written a memo detailing President Trump’s request that he stop the...
Dec. 8, 2016 / Nieman Lab Staff
When 9.4 million followers isn’t enough: NBC News will shut down the Breaking News app on Dec. 31 — There’s no denying that Breaking News is a super-useful app/Twitter account/idea: Day in and day out, morning and night, its editors in New York, Los Angeles, London, and Seattle push out hard news from around the ...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: January 16, 2014.
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