The conversations, first reported by the New York Times, come as the controversial comedian weighs what projects to take on in the wake of her explosive departure from the ABC daytime talk show.
O'Donnell's been mostly off the airwaves since her final bitter on-air fight with "View" co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck last spring. This fall, O'Donnell will reprise her guest role as "Dawn Budge" on FX's "Nip/Tuck."
The time slot would put O'Donnell on right after "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," the network's top-rated program and one whose left-leaning sensibilities would pair well with her politics.
But such a move would mean bumping Dan Abrams, the network's former general manager, who just returned to the airwaves full-time in September with a new nightly show at that time.
Those familiar with the discussions cautioned that the negotiations are far from a done deal. If she were to take a post at MSNBC, O'Donnell would have to dramatically lower her usual fee. Earlier this year, in her talks with ABC about extending her time on "The View," O'Donnell asked for $10 million for another year.
Cindi Berger, a spokeswoman for O'Donnell, declined to comment.