MSNBC Cable TV ‘fired’ Keith Olbermann and terminated his Countdown Show

By on Jan 22, 2011 in Current Events, Television, United States, World Comments

Keith Olbermann and MSNBC has terminated their four year contract worth an estimated $30M on Friday, January 21, 2011, according to a statement released by the US cable news network’s parent company NBC.

Image Credit: Fred Prouser/Reuters

Reports say that Olbermann‘s Countdown episode on Friday night will be its last broadcast. Countdown, the network’s top rating program, is being shown at 8pm and replayed at 11pm. Nielsen survey says that Countdown had 1.1 Million viewers on Thursday.

Olbermann will be leaving MSNBC as its highest rated personality and two years remaining in his contract. He played a big role in transforming MSNBC into a liberal oriented, and Democratic-leaning channel.

The management of MSNBC had suspended Olbermann from hosting his Countdown show last November 2010, after violating company rules when he made donations to three Democratic candidates that include Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswomen who was shot in the head in Tucson.

In his dramatic farewell, Olbermann said: “This may be the only television programme wherein the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa. You will always be in my heart for that.”

Below is NBC‘s statement regarding the termination of Keith Olbermann‘s contract.

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

There was no clear reason that was issued about the abrupt firing of Olbermann. Speculations have spread that Comcast had a hand on the termination of Olbermann.

Comcast, however, issued the statement below to deny any involvement on the Olbermann issue:

Comcast has not closed the transaction for [NBC-Universal] and has no operational control at any of its properties including MSNBC. We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBCU’s news operations. We have not and we will not.

Lawrence O’Donnell, host of the channel’s 10pm output, will take the 8pm slot from Olbermann, according to MSNBC.



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