MSNBC At 10: Getting Online

By Brian 

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When MSNBC came online on July 15, 1996, the Web site was quickly overwhelmed by the opening day traffic. Read Mike Brunker‘s retrospective of the last 10 years:

  “The cable channel and the Internet site were supposed to launch simultaneously, but when the time came the site wasn’t universally available,” recalls Andy Beers, then executive producer for news. “…I picked up the phone and on the other end was (NBC President) Bob Wright shouting, ‘Why isn’t the Web site up?’… I handed the phone to Keith (Rowe, the director of technology) and said, ‘It’s for you.'”

Additional server power was quickly harnessed, and over the next few hours the rest of the world got its first peek at the newcomer aiming to challenge early online leader CNN.com.

 
By the way, the rubber chicken was “used to signal who, among the editors seated at a long news desk, was actually producing the cover page, giving rise to an oft-repeated question, ‘Who’s got the chicken?'” Here’s the full story…

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