Good luck trying to rebuild yourself in the next 14 years.
Media platforms should look to diverse content -- some opinionated, some not. I'm wondering whether FoxNews.com doesn't jive with the Fox News Channel's interest. Does the print version of the New York Times have a different ideological slant than the Web site?
Both the MSNBC and Fox Web sites are pretty much straightforward news. Both TV networks are dominated by big-time prime-time personalities -- one leaning more liberal/Democrat, the other leaning conservative/Republican. (As in "leaning forward" -- that's MSNBC's new marketing tag line).
But here's what's missing: While both are opinionated, those networks also have time periods where they ALSO do pretty much straight news -- especially in the daytime and overnight time periods. Of course, it's prime time where the big network marketing images carry a lot of weight.
What are senior MSNBC.com executives really worried about? Advertising. The reality is, many TV advertisers don't buy Internet sites and traditional TV networks the same way -- or in packages, irrespective of how those brands are perceived.
For example, there aren't many combination TV/Internet deals --- buying TV commercials on a TV channel, and mostly static advertising messaging on Internet site. Pricing is way different, as are the audience metrics.
MSNBC.com is thinking about changing to a plainer moniker -- NBCnews.com. Since 2005, NBC Universal has been the majority owner of the cable network (with Microsoft owning a small stake). They had been 50-50 partners for the network's first nine years of its existence.
But the MSNBC Web site is still 50-50 owned by NBC and Microsoft, as well as it being a part of Microsoft's MSN digital area. Perhaps making matter more complicated are MSN's other content deals. For example, it also has one with Fox Sports.
Still, to come -- a company called Comcast and its opinion. With the deal not yet closed, the new majority owners of NBC Universal may not have a say -- right now anyway.
But things could change. Lean forward -- or maybe sideways -- and observe.