Friday, January 21, 2011

Keith Olbermann Quits Countdown — The Left's Chickens Coming Home to Roost? ... UPDATE! — NBC Fired Olby

I rarely watch Countdown.

I happened to click on The Daily Caller and saw this: "
Keith Olbermann’s ‘personal responsibility’ for Tucson: We watch, because we’re paid to." I thought nothing of it at the moment. Working on something else, I kept surfing and landed on New York Times. Olby's picture was at the top with the headline: "Olbermann Leaves ‘Countdown’ on MSNBC." Cruising around further, I checked Twitter, and the link to Howard Kurtz, "MSNBC's liberal crusader abruptly resigned on air tonight, ending a provocative eight-year run."

Keith Olbermann, the liberal crusader whose combative style put him increasingly at odds with his network bosses, resigned abruptly from MSNBC tonight.

The cable channel confirmed his unexpected departure as Olbermann was rather calmly announcing the demise of Countdown after an eight-year run that included a bitter feud with Bill O'Reilly, fiery denunciations of Republicans and occasional acknowledgements that he had gone too far.

Olbermann thanked his audience—"my gratitude to you is boundless"—and a list of people who have worked with him, notably excluding MSNBC President Phil Griffin, whom he has known for three decades.

A knowledgeable official said the move had nothing to do with Comcast taking control of NBC next week, although the cable giant was informed when it received final federal approval for the purchase that Olbermann would be leaving the cable channel. This official described the dramatic divorce as mutual.

Olbermann, who quit MSNBC once before—in 1998—as well as ESPN, almost single-handedly revived the network by leading it on a leftward march and aggressively attacking the rival operation he called Fox Noise. But his relations with top NBC and MSNBC executives sharply deteriorated when he was suspended for making donations to Democratic candidates, and they began to talk about how the channel was now on solid enough footing to survive without him.
More at the link.

Kurtz notes that Olbermann was taking a lot of heat for the heat of his show.

I'll update after I pin down for sure that he was fired. But check Gateway Pundit, "
Sanity Wins! … Crazy Keith Olbermann Is Out at MSNBC – Effective Immediately." And Allah sorts through the speculation, "Breaking: Olbermann announces the end of “Countdown”." Also at Memeorandum.


UPDATE: From Richard Adams' Guardian headline at Memeorandum, "Keith Olbermann abruptly fired by NBC." But there's a change on the homepage, "Keith Olbermann dropped by NBC ... the controversial MSNBC cable news host, has his contract abruptly terminated by parent company NBC."

Plus, a roundup at Instapundit, "MSNBC SAYS SAYONARA TO KEITH OLBERMANN."

And at TMZ, "Keith Olbermann -- Fired By MSNBC."