NBC in talks to buy back Microsoft's stake in MSNBC.com

NBC in talks to buy back Microsoft's stake in MSNBC.com

Summary: NBC News is currently in talks to buy back Microsoft's portion of MSNBC.com, which could see the two companies severing their relationship after nearly 17 years in the news business.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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NBC News is currently in talks with Microsoft to buy back the software giant's portion of the joint venture.

MSNBC website: Screenshot: ZDNet.

An NBC News spokesperson speaking to the Associated Press said that "conversations were taking place," but said there was no done deal yet.

Microsoft was unavailable for immediate comment at the time of writing. 

Despite the talks, the two companies continue to share the MSNBC.com website, which remains in the top 2,000 websites in the United States, according to Alexa rankings.

NBC executives are aiming to gain complete control over the part-Microsoft funded venture as it seeks to separate its television and online brands to avoid brand confusion. 

Two years ago, NBC Universal and Microsoft were looking to change the name of MSNBC --- at the time, the third most popular U.S. news website --- according to The New York Times. 

The deal was struck in 1995  around the time Microsoft was making its public name with Windows 95. Microsoft said it would invest $220 million for a 50 percent stake in the online news property and MSNBC cable television channel. NBC acquired a majority stake on the channel when the television partnership ended in 2005. 

Charlie Tillinghast, MSNBC.com chief executive, will likely move off the Microsoft campus along with half of the website's employees should the deal end, according to one report.

Topic: Microsoft

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17 comments
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  • MSNBC was in the news business?

    Really? I knew Fox was in the disinformation business, CNN was in the he said/she said chatting business, but I was never too sure exactly what MSNBC was up to from my random pauses whilst channel surfing.
    JustCallMeBC
    • MSNBC is in the.....

      if I say it enough or yell enough may some fool out there will believe me business. After all NBC really stands for Never Been Correct.
      Test Subject
      • NBC gives MSFT a bad name ...

        with its rampant extreme-left propaganda.
        LBiege
    • You apparently don't watch Fox news

      or you'd realize that it has more accurate coverage than the other cable news channels. If disinformation is covering stories that other channels won't because the news makes leftists look bad, then and only then would your statement be accurate. Even on the opinion shows at night, Fox has 1 person from each side giving an opinion. When has MSNBC done that?

      I don't let any news channel drive my opinion or assessment of the facts, even Fox, but it's far more reliable than MSNBC. CNN is a shell of its former self and also no longer objective.
      zdnetreader123
    • I guess the viewers decide

      Fox News has higher ratings than CNN/MSNBC/CNBC combined. So I guess you are indeed the unusual individual that considers Fox News "disinformation". But I suppose you get your "information" from Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart.
      stano360
      • And yet

        Fox News has a lower rating than Hannah Montana did. Based on your statements you should watch that instead of FOX.
        fldbryan@...
        • Why compare Apples and stones?

          Fox is a cable news channel. Hanna Montana is watched on a kids' channel. The kids' channel gets all the little kids watching, and it's an entertainment channel. FOX is meant as a news and information station, and will get only the adults (and others) who are interested only with news and information and analysis. When it comes to comparing apples to apples, FOX is the bigger apple, with more people "eating" what it offers than all of the other cable news stations combined.
          adornoe
      • faux news...

        Fox just caters to hillbilly morons and the US is full of them. High ratings doesn't mean accurate reporting or fair or balanced anything. Just means they're pseudo entertaining to the masses.
        Frow Bart
        • Yet, those "hillbilly morons", are better informed, and, according to

          studies conducted, better educated than the viewers of MSNBC and CNN. So, if those "faux" viewers are "hillbillies and morons", that would make a CNN or MSNBC viewer, completely brainless. The question to you then, is: how does it feel being so brainless? But, I already know the answer you'll give, if it's as brainless as your post above.
          adornoe
    • MSNBC

      You should stop in your surfing and listen to Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell, Ed Shultz or on Sat & Sun a.m to Melissa Harris-Perry. They all tell it like it is. Best analysis of politics that can be had. They may not have the ratings of Fox News but if you'd observed the general decline of programming on TV these days, you'll understand where the audience of Faux News is coming from. I bet the same folks listen to Rush Limbaugh and watch "Swamp People" and "Mountain Men".
      Polly Shaw
      • Really?!?! Those are the most rabidly left-leaning talk show hosts on the

        planet, and, they have absolutely no credibility when it comes to presenting or analyzing the news. They're are credible as Castro and Chavez and Ahmadinejad and the former leaders of the old USSR. Every one of those people you mentioned, could easily be hired by the Marxists in North Korea or in Cuba, and the viewers wouldn't know they were formerly from an American TV news station. In fact, if MSNBC were to be broadcast to North Korea and to Cuba and to China, the citizens in those countries would not be able to differentiate them from the communist party leaders in their respective countries.

        But, you are quite representative of the dumbing down of America, when you can't even recognize the radical ideology behind the hosts in that station.

        There is a very big reason why FOX (not Faux, like you would pretend they are) news has a much larger viewing audience, and that is, that the FOX audience is much better informed and better educated on the ideologies that the different channels represent. FOX news is watched by Americans who appreciate what the country represent, while MSNBC is watched by people who wish to radically change the country.
        adornoe
        • Have you watched Rachel Maddow?

          She begs, literally, for Conservatives and Republicans to be guests on her show. She describes herself as holding Eisenhower-era Republican values. Anybody leans left compared to Fox.

          FYI, I don't regularly watch anyones else's program on MSNBC. But I'm a regular viewer and supporter of Rachel Maddow. There aren't too many other Rhodes Scholars with PhDs from Cambridge giving their opinion in the media.

          On the other hand, studies have repeatedly shown that Fox News Channel viewers are more poorly informed than people that don't regularly or purposely consume news information from any source.

          Try typing "Fox viewers" into a web search and see the suggestions about "misinformed" and "less informed." Read and follow-up on this article:

          http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/john-farrell/2010/12/22/university-study-fox-viewers-more-misinformed

          This source is a owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., same as Fox News Channel is. And the University of Maryland isn't the only institution to have conducted a study that arrives at this conclusion.

          Yes, MSNBC decidedly leans left. Americans that hold those views wish to exercise their freedom of speech too.

          Fox is Roger Ailes' long-term project, meant to be a information source that has the full approval of the GOP. He's been devoted to the concept for almost 40 years, his life's work. Why else would Mitt Romney boast that "we already have all the Fox viewers?"
          djchandler
          • Rachel Madcow wouldn't know how to handle a different kind of opinion, and,

            her offer to get a republican on her show is just for publicity and total nonsense, since, she wouldn't even get past the first sentence in a debate with any republican.

            I could get on her show and tear her brainless remarks to shreds, since, anything she says is automatically a total lie and illogical. The liberal ideology, which is lately the same as socialism, is completely illogical, and thus, she starts out with a losing argument as soon as she opens her mouth.

            But, you wouldn't know, since your source for news is some wacky ultra-liberal like Madcow and MSNBC.

            BTW, when it comes to that link you provided, it's as biased as MSNBC and CNN, which means, no credibility whatsoever. Most other studies show that, FOX is the station which provides the fairest coverage of the news and information, and that its viewers are the best informed of any TV station that provides news and information, bar none.

            Your problem is that, you won't even find the truth, because, you keep looking at the most biased news sources around to get your news and information from.
            adornoe
          • BTW, that a news source is owned by NewsCorp, does not mean that,

            it's automatically a right-wing source. Even the Wall Street Journal leans heavily left.

            And so, US News is still, a liberal rag.
            adornoe
  • Once upon a time...

    Maybe once upon a time Microsoft saw some logic in a Microsoft/NBC joint venture. But I really can't recall a time when the "MS" in MSNBC really made any sense to me.
    dsf3g
    • With Comcast owningNBC/ Universal

      And having just sold off their stake in A&E to Disney (who owns the otherhalf), it appears that Comcast wants to buy or sell anything they can't fully control. (Which living outside of Phila, I can tell you that's how Comcast operates.)

      They have to wait until 2018 or 2019 before they can purchase the rest of NBC/Universal from General Electric, so having full owmership of the web site is a plus for Comcast.
      William Farrel
    • The humans lack sufficient eyes to make it work

      Don't you remember all the domeheads telling us there would soon be Harmonic Convergence between the web and television? Other than sending law-and-order re-runs inside Internet packets, we haven't seen too much of that.
      Robert Hahn