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Key links:
Primary website:
msnbc.msn.com
Primary Twitter:
@msnbc

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate.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.

MSNBC is an American cable news channel founded in 1996 through a partnership between Microsoft and NBC.

NBCUniversal bought majority control of the channel in 2005.

MSNBC is one of America’s three largest cable news networks, along with Fox News and CNN. Of those three, MSNBC is commonly found to be the most politically liberal, particularly after a shift to the left during former President George W. Bush’s second term. This shift accompanied a shift toward opinion-based, rather than reporting-based, coverage. MSNBC is generally the second-most-watched of the three channels, well behind Fox News and just in front of CNN.

MSNBC’s most prominent personalities are political commentators Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Joe Scarborough, as well as political reporter Chuck Todd.

Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was suspended in November 2010 for making campaign contributions to Democratic candidates. He resigned in January 2011 after an eight-year run with the channel, moving his show to Current TV.

MSNBC was founded alongside a website, msnbc.com, though that site was corporately separate from the cable channel until 2012, when Microsoft sold its share in the site and msnbc.com was renamed NBCNews.com. NBC relaunched MSNBC.com as a standalone site for MSNBC in 2013. The NBCNews.com Encyclo entry is here.

MSNBC formed a partnership with the digital news data-mining startup Vocativ in 2014 to provide taped video segments for one of its shows.

Peers, allies, & competitors:
Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Sept. 29, 2020 / Curd Knüpfer and Robert Mathew Entman
Fox News uses the word “hate” much, much more often than MSNBC or CNN — Fox News is up to five times more likely to use the word “hate” in its programming than its main competitors, according to our new study of how cable news channels use language. Fox particularly uses the term when ex...
Sept. 2, 2020 / Hanaa' Tameez
The Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer lets you analyze who and what gets airtime — While the use of local TV for news is declining, cable news is growing: Audience and revenue for Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN are all up this year. So which stories, and people, are getting the most airtime? Thanks to the St...
Dec. 5, 2019 / Dannagal G. Young
Why liberal satire and conservative outrage are both responses to mainstream media — but with very different powers — 1996 was a banner year for America’s polarized media ecosystem. In October, a new 24-hour news channel was introduced to American audiences. “I figure there are 18 shows for freaks,” the former Republic...
July 22, 2016 / Ken Doctor
Newsonomics: What really ails Fox News, the leader in its shrinking category — If the ascendance of Donald Trump is showbiz, the descent of Roger Ailes can only be described as opera. Trump and Ailes should go down into history together, and July 21, 2016 will mark it. Just hours before Trump forma...
June 27, 2016 / Joseph Lichterman
Mississippi Today, backed by an NBC exec, aims to be the Texas Tribune of its undercovered state — Mississippi has one of the thinnest statehouse press corps in the United States. In 2014, there were just four full-time reporters — one for every 741,824 Mississippians — covering the state government in Jackson. Th...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: March 27, 2014.
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The Atlantic is an American magazine that features political and cultural commentary. It is published 10 times a year. The magazine was founded as The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 by a group of prominent writers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was based in Boston until moving to Washington in…

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