NBC, Microsoft in venture

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MSNBC is the name of a new brand of interactive news services created by a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. and NBC. MSNBC will consist of a cable TV channel that will be adapted from NBC's current America's Talking channel, a consumer online service and a business online news service adapted from NBC Desktop News. Microsoft agreed to pay $220 million over the next five years for a 50% interest in MSNBC Cable and both companies said they expect to invest an additional $200 million over five years to fund the cable and online services.

Ultimately, the partners plan to utilize interactive components to the cable news service via cable modems, but in the short-term will rely on-screen links to the online services to provide more depth and breadth of news content. The deal follows ABC News' announcement of its plan to launch a 24-hour news channel in 1997, but ABC said it was unclear how that channel would be distributed.

Chrysler backs special
Chrysler Corp. has signed on as exclusive sponsor of "Survivors of the Holocaust," a documentary debuting Jan. 8 on Turner Broadcasting's TBS. The program was put together by Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, which is dedicated to documenting stories of Holocaust survivors. Chrysler will not air any product commercials, only a special corporate message running at the beginning and end of the show. Bozell Worldwide, Southfield, Mich., is Chrysler's corporate agency.

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