Keith Olbermann, one of the best known cable news personalities on either side of the political spectrum, was abruptly fired yesterday by MSNBC.
Olbermann, in the middle of a four-year $30 million deal set to last until 2012, announced on last night’s edition of Countdown that it was 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.
Here’s Olberman signing off for the final time last night …
Sources said network brass basically paid the pundit to scram by working out an agreement in which he would get lost and continue to be paid.
He will have to stay off the air at least until fall as a result.
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.” Nice.
Executives have said tensions between Olbermann and the network, which were palpable to begin with, have been running high since then.
Neither side has offered a formal explanation, but the network said 10 p.m. host Lawrence O’Donnell would move into Keith’s slot Monday.
What do you think of the move? Is MSNBC crazy for bidding happy trails to such a high-rated host? Good riddance or good luck to Keith?