rethinking MSNBC partnership But both sides appear disillusioned with a marriage that was supposed to revolutionize news on TV and the Internet. Instead, MSNBC has become a distant third in the cable news race. "This relationship never worked out the way it was supposed to. MSNBC is a non-starter," said Porter Bibb, a managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners. Microsoft is said to be fuming over "the huge license fee" it must pay to G.E.-owned NBC Universal, an insider said. :read: NBC, in turn, is said to want to drop the letters MS from the net's name.