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IQ News: MSN’s Underwire Loses Support, Will Shut Down

As Microsoft continues to dismantle original content programmed and developed for the Microsoft Network, the latest casualty in the reorganization is its women’s show UnderWire. Sources said that the year-old program would gradually be phased out.
Marty Taucher, a senior group marketing manager for Microsoft’s Interactive Media Group, said the program’s future has not yet been determined.
“It’s not clear yet,” he said. “MSN has been evolving a lot. Shows are coming up and down.”
Taucher was not aware of any new specific programming that was going to be added to the network.
In addition, original shows the network had commissioned for development, such as MGM Interactive’s Paul Is Dead, have been returned to their content creators.
“We did have a relationship with MGM Interactive for Paul Is Dead in development,” said Ed Graczyk, lead product manager of the Microsoft Network. “It never went into production. It ties back to how the programming started evolving.”
Another MSN production, the online travel destination Mungo Park, is up for sale, according to sources; its final original episode went online last month. MSN officials have indicated they will develop more programming and services that are task-oriented, rather than pure entertainment.
UnderWire was brought onto the Internet last October, joining its counterpart behind the MSN subscriber firewall. The site, or “program” as Microsoft calls it, deals with social issues, relationships, fitness, sex and politics. A number of women’s oriented sites such as Women.com Networks’ Women’s Wire, Hearst Corp.’s HomeArts and iVillage’s Women’s Network are also targeting women through similar sites.