Net Loss  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   July/August 2002

Net Loss   

Merrill Brown, founding editor of MSNBC.com, steps down after six years.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     


MSNBC.com's founding editor in chief, Merrill Brown, under whose leadership the online news site rose to ratings dominance before slipping in recent months, resigns after six years on the job. Brown, who turns 50 in August, says he's leaving "because I thought it was time to do something different... I've done work at MSNBC that I'm very proud of, that I feel has set a good foundation in place... It's time for editor in chief No. 2." He says he's considering "a couple of options." MSNBC.com pulled 35 No. 1 rankings among news sites between January 1999 and April 2002, the last month for which numbers were available. But since last September, according to comScore Media Metrix, it has dropped behind CNN more often than not, which Brown attributes in part to a commanding news story--the war on terrorism--and ratings troubles at cable network MSNBC.

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