The left-leaning cable news network that started as a partnership between Microsoft and NBC launched on July 15, 1996, replacing the short-lived NBC cable channel America's Talking. MSNBC's debut was two days before the TWA Flight 800 catastrophe and three months before Fox News launched on Oct. 7, 1996. "I was serving as Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News when I got the call from the boss: he wanted to see me in New York," Williams, who now hosts MSNBC's The 11th Hour, recalls on the MSNBC website. "Something about a new assignment. Something big was afoot. Upon arrival the assignment was revealed to me: a plan for a new cable network, designed for a new age. With some ceremony, Andy Lack revealed the new logo. He pulled back a piece of tissue paper covering a piece of black poster board. The peacock and "NBC" lettering were of course instantly recognizable, but this logo had a strange new prefix — the letters 'MS.' The future was upon us, I was told. Microsoft had reached a partnership agreement with NBC, and together they were forming something new. Almost a decade before the invention of the iPhone or Twitter, and years before a young Harvard student came up with Facebook, we were launching a network to combine television news with the still-new and overwhelming World Wide Web. From those early days I am left with grainy video of our first broadcasts, and a coveted blue polo shirt with "Launch Team" embroidered over the logo. I was the second voice on the network. The honor of taking us on the air went to a wonderfully talented broadcaster named Jodi Applegate. I hope she has watched our terrific growth with pride. I know I have. Our launch may have been modest. But a quarter century of hard work has guaranteed the next 25 years will be anything but. Our future is limitless."