NBC News today confirmed that it’s relocating its Redmond team — the remnants of MSNBC.com — from Microsoft’s campus to the Columbia Center in downtown Seattle.
NBC News Digital Group needed to find a new home for its local team after its partnership with Microsoft was dissolved a year ago, ending their 16-year-old joint news venture. The move is expected to be complete in November.
NBC took over the online news operation, rebranded the site NBCNews.com and consolidated operations in New York. But it maintained some news personnel and a technical team in the Seattle area.
The Seattle office is primarily a technology operation that will develop new tools and products, as well as support the company’s digital operations. It’s now working on projects such as a redesign of NBCNews.com and the re-launch of MSNBC.com as a site aligned with the MSBNC cable channel.
“We think that this will be a nice hotbed and incubator for new ideas,” said Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer, who is based in New York.
NBC was expected to end up with about 100 employees in Seattle, down from 300 working under the joint venture. Schiller said that’s in the ballpark but declined to provide a specific headcount.
“We’re staffing the company in the way to best suit the needs of the products and the audience,” she said.”That will require indefinitely a very large group here, especially around technology. We consider Seattle a real hub for technologists and we want to be able to attract talent.”
NBC will move employees from a smaller Seattle office on Elliott Way into the Columbia Center, where the company signed a seven-year lease for the entire 26th floor, with about 23,000 square feet of space.
Word of the Columbia Center move surfaced in May, but the company waited to confirm the deal until it had finalized the lease.