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

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.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

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.

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