Keith Olbermann was fired by MSNBC, right in the middle of his 4 year contract due to expire in 2012 and worth $30 million dollars. Olbermann, one of the best known cable news personalities on both sides of the political spectrum, was abruptly canned yesterday by MSNBC, and announced on last night’s edition of Countdown With Keith Olbermann that it would be his last.
The dismissal is said to be at least indirectly related to Comcast’s acquiring of NBC and the parent company’s distaste for his defiance and attitude towards management. Sources inside said the network brass basically paid the host to leave the network by working out a deal in which he would leave the network but still continue to be paid, however, he will have to stay off the air at least until fall as a result of the deal reached with the network.
MSNBC issued a vague, unemotional statement saying it ended its contract with Olbermann, who hosted the top rated show on the network. The statement read in part, “MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.” Olberman was suspended briefly a few months ago in light of some political donations the host made, but no one saw this swift exit coming. Executives have said that the tensions between Olbermann and the network, which were escalating to begin with, have been running high since the suspension. Neither side has offered any type of a formal explanation, however, the network did say that host Lawrence O’Donnell, who has the 10 PM time slot, would move into Keith’s slot starting Monday, January 24th following the news of the firing.
Here is a video of Olberman signing off for the final time last night …