/// NBCU Exploring Buyback of MSNBC.com

May 24, 2012  |  Media Week

Chris Matthews must be getting that tingling feeling down his leg again . He and his colleagues may soon have a giant news site to call their own. That’s because NBCUniversal is in serious negotiations with Microsoft to buy back MSNBC.com. Several sources with first-hand knowledge of the situation say that negotiations between the two companies have progressed to the stage where NBCU parent company Comcast is conducting its due diligence. They said that the partnership could be unwound by this summer. Both the MSNBC network and MSNBC.com were launched as a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft in 1996 during the Web’s early emergence as a news vehicle. In 2005, NBC purchased the majority of Microsoft’s stake of MSNBC , which has since morphed into a liberal alternative to Fox News, populated by opinionated hosts like Matthews and Rachel Maddow. Two years later, NBC owned the network outright. But MSNBC.com has remained a joint venture, while maintaining a distinct personality from the network. While the site is populated with Today Show and NBC News content, it's far more of a general news outlet than its TV counterpart. As recently as two years ago, there were reports that MSNBC.com would rebrand

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