NBC News is said to be in talks with Microsoft to buy back all of the company’s outstanding shares in MSNBC.com, a move that would sever the company’s 17 year ties with Microsoft.
Way back in 1995 Microsoft paid $220 million for a 50 percent stake in MSNBC which consisted of the MSNBC.com website and the MSNBC cable channel. In 2005 the majority of that partnership was dissolved when NBC acquired a majority stake in the company with Microsoft sharing ownership of MSNBC.com, one of the webs most popular news portals.
At this time an NBC News spokeswoman revealed in an email that “conversations are taking place” but “there is no deal at this time.”
Microsoft officials are refusing to comment on the rumors at this moment.
Microsoft declined to comment.
Sources involved in the deal say NBC would be likely to rebrand its offer as NBCNews, separating its partnership from Microsoft.
While MSNBC TV is known as a left leaning site for liberal news reporting the MSNBC.com web portal offers slightly more straightforward news reporting that offers both liberal and conservative news reporting.
According to The Daily Beast “under the current plan, say people familiar with the matter, Charlie Tillinghast, the chief executive of MSNBC.com, would continue to run the site. But he would presumably move off Microsoft’s campus, along with the roughly half of the website’s 300 employees who are also based in Redmond, Wash.”
Employees at MSNBC.com have reportedly already been briefed on upcoming plans and how they will be affected by those plans.