MSNBC in early stages of redesign

Written by Adrian Holovaty on August 2, 2002

A piece about MSNBC in Online Journalism Review reveals the site is in the beginning stages of a redesign, which possibly will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2003:

[General Manager Scott] Moore promises the site "absolutely will remain distinctive." He offers Slate as an example. "MSNBC is going to maintain its own unique brand and the design is part of that brand ... On the other hand MSNBC's design has not changed in 5 years. It's time for a refreshing of the design and the user interface. We're not going to strip it down."


Posted by Jay Small on August 2, 2002, at 6:15 p.m.:

Did you see the piece in National Journal about MSNBC dropping message boards and launching in their place a Weblog portal? Romenesko had it on his MediaNews site today. Link is here.

Best regards,


Posted by Adrian on August 2, 2002, at 7:12 p.m.:

I did see that, yes...It's interesting (and a bit off topic for this blog), but I'm curious how that would help develop "civil and coherent communities," as an MSNBC producer claims in the story. Obviously I don't know the details of how their new blog portal would be laid out, but it seems to me "community" necessitates two-way interaction -- something definitely not achieved by abolishing discussion boards in favor of a static list of links to outside blogs. I'm just wondering what they meant by that.

At any rate, it's always good to see big media embracing blogs.

Posted by Jay Small on August 2, 2002, at 7:35 p.m.:

I checked over at and found they're not killing the boards entirely, just "merging" them with MSN Groups. From the MSNBC news execs' perspective, I suppose that's the same as washing their hands of all those forum miscreants, and that's probably what they wanted.

Now there's a design issue for you: ongoing brand confusion among MSN, MSNBC and (I suppose for super-geeks) MSDN. :-)

Posted by Alex on August 4, 2002, at 5:58 a.m.:

I'd like to see an redesign. I can't wait to see what they come up with! If it's as unique as the design they currently have, it should be interesting.

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