First Firing At MSNBC-More to Follow-Olbermann Gone

January/22/2011 16:00PM
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This blog has predicted for over a year that the Comcast purchase of NBC  would result in a purge on newscasters on their various news channels. 

It came fast.

Will Rachael MadCow be next? Will MSNBC actually become a news channel rather than a place to pander to Jeffery Immelt’s friend Obama?

“Provocative liberal commentator Keith Olbermann is done at MSNBC, the cable network he helped define and for which he has been the top draw.”

“MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract,” the cable channel said Friday night in a statement. “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.”

Olbermann announced his departure near the end of his program, alluding to the crazed fictional newscaster Howard Beale’s “I’m as mad as hell” speech from the movie “Network” and saying his audience’s awe of him was exceeded by his awe of it.

“This is the last edition of ‘Countdown,'” Olbermann said. He thanked his staff and “just a few of the many people who fought with me and for me” since his return to MSNBC nearly eight years ago, having fled four years earlier after growing frustration with its focus on the Monica Lewinsky-President Clinton scandal at the time.

Ko Neither Olbermann (pictured left) nor MSNBC shed much light on reasons for the divorce. He did, however, note the program had “gradually established itself as anti-establishment” and acknowledged “there were many occasions, particularly in the last 2 1/2 years, where all that surrounded the show — but never the show itself — was too much for me, but (the loyalty and support of his viewers) ultimately required that I keep going.”

The surprise announcement caps the latest stormy relationship between Olbermann and his employer.

It comes as telecommunications giant Comcast is said to be near to closing its deal to acquire control of MSNBC parent NBC Universal from General Electric. But network executives told the New York Times the pending takeover had nothing to do with Olbermann’s exit”

But, TMZ says he was fired by Comcast, paid his contract, and can’t compete for at least a year. Who do you believe, TMZ or the New York Times?

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