An active transcriptive complex was isolated from purified virions of Newcastle disease virus. After disruption with Triton X-100 and high salt, soluble and particulate fractions were separated by density gradient centrifugation. The transcriptive complex, recovered at a density of 1.275 g/cm3, appeared as a nucleocapsid structure by electron microscopy. When analyzed by polyacryl-amide gel electrophoresis, the nucleocapsids consisted of the nucleocapsid protein, a minor protein of 53,000 molecular weight, and the large L protein. Nucleocapsids possessed less than 1% of the hemagglutinating and neuraminidase activities originally associated with virions. The active complex synthesized predominantly 11 to 20S RNA in vitro and approximately one-fourth of the RNA molecules contained polyadenylic acid segments. In the presence of S-adenosyl-L-methionine, the RNA molecules were capped and methylated at the 5' termini. The transcriptive complex was also capable of methylating exogenous Escherichia coli RNA in the absence of viral RNA synthesis.