Some take umbrage with our report suggesting buying Yahoo forces Microsoft to sell MSNBC.com to NBC. These sources claim MSNBC.com earns more money than Yahoo News and they'd be surprised to see Microsoft divest itself from such a profitable property. And where there's money, there's motive to renegotiate the contract that restricts what Microsoft can do in the news business.
While NBC would jump at the chance to fully own MSNBC.com, NBC knows MSNBC.com's value depends on traffic from Microsoft sites. NBC would likely not buy MSNBC.com without guaranteeing access to Microsoft's online audiences.
A more likely scenario would have NBC and Microsoft renegotiating the MSNBC.com joint venture to make MSNBC.com the exclusive provider of news to Microsoft-branded sites, rather than all sites it owns — which would exempt Yahoo News and other Yahoo-labeled sites. One source points out that Microsoft seems plenty comfortable owning competing brands, like MSN and Live.
The other flaw in our theory, according to insiders, is our claim that former MSNBC.com president and current Yahoo media czar Scott Moore remains respected and admired by "many" at Microsoft. "I'd like to meet just one of those many!" former MSNBC.com executive producer Rex Sorgatz commented on our post. And Sorgatz isn't the only skeptic. Other insiders dispute the characterization as well, claiming Moore burned his bridges on his way out of Microsoft.