Big Day For Net News Junkies

As a confirmed Internet news junkie, I found today's news about Internet news interesting. In the process of digging into it, I made a discovery worth commenting on (IMNSHO).

NBC finally put to bed a deal to revamp MSNBC.com and to get its own online news presence in the process. The "old" msnbc.com is now NBCNews.com. The redirects are already in place. Until today, NBC News did not have its own Web presence. That was part of the deal between Microsoft and NBC made years ago when the two teamed up to create MSNBC.com. At the time the deal was struck, it made eminent sense. It hasn't for some time but it took NBC and its newer partner Comcast a while to negotiate Microsoft out of the relationship. The price of divorce was reportedly $30M. Apparently, the MSNBC TV operation remains separate and there are no reported plans to change its lineup. The offspring news service will reportedly get its own dedicated .com next year.

Microsoft said in departing from the deal that it wants to create its own news presence but I doubt that's in the offing. They aren't in the content business and are partnered with too many companies that are.

So there's that.

And then I read a piece in one of the many newsletters I read every day that indicated that the highest-traffic news site on the Internet has become the Yahoo-ABC combo. So I dropped over to check it out and, man was I impressed. My main online news base at the moment is Google News but Yahoo/ABC has them beat hands-down. Better organization, better layout and design, far better user experience. I'd switch in a nanosecond but for one failing on the part of Yahoo: no ability to add custom news topics to your news page.

Maybe the brand-new  Yahoo CEO can fix that. Because also today Yahoo announced it had filled its CEO position by hiring the second woman ever to take the helm at the once-giant tech company. Marissa Mayer, one of the top execs at Google, is credited with being one of their best product innovators. And if Yahoo needs anything right now, it's innovation. Having completely blown their initial role as a major search player, Yahoo's best new play — evidenced by the way it has executed with ABC — is as a serious content provider. I'm guessing Mayer will quickly start focusing on content innovation. She could well lead a real resurgence of Yahoo.

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