Microsoft to pull out of MSNBC?

Software giant may be talking to NBC about selling its stake in the cable network the two founded together, according to a report.

Jo Best Special to CNET News.com
Microsoft could be about to pull out of cable news network MSNBC, according to a report.

Microsoft and NBC, joint owners of the network and its companion news portal, are in "advanced discussions" over the sale of the software giant's stake to NBC, according to The New York Post.

Under the potential deal, NBC would take sole control of the news company, with Microsoft having rights to use some of its online news content, according to the paper.

Microsoft's involvement in the venture, which cost it an initial investment of about $250 million, has never seen the hoped-for returns. The channel, which was created in 1996, saw its first quarterly profit last year.

Should Microsoft shed its involvement in the news venture, it wouldn't be the first time the software giant has distanced itself from a content provider. Last year, the company sold its Slate online publication to the Washington Post Co. It also previously sold its 70 percent stake in travel company Expedia.

Microsoft did not respond to requests for comment.

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.