Keith Olbermann To Air on Prime Time Network Television

Keith Olbermann is getting a shot at the big time. The New York Times reports (via TV Newser) that Countdown will be shown be shown by NBC on a Sunday before a preseason football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers:

Countdown’ is rocketing right now over at MSNBC — its ratings are going through the roof,” said Phil Griffin, senior vice president of NBC News. (In July Mr. Olbermann’s show averaged 721,000 viewers, an increase of 88 percent over last July, according to MSNBC.) Mr. Griffin added, “The world has changed, and I think people have come in line with the smart, focused approach he has on the show.” No immediate plans for additional network appearances of “Countdown” have been made, but Mr. Griffen did not rule them out. “It may be the first of several times you see Olbermann on the network,” he said.

Has the world changed in that people want the smart, focused approach, or are people getting smarter and want to hear views other than the conservative views normally spread by Tim Russert on NBC? Regardless, it will be nice to get more balance from NBC. I’ve always suspected that the turn to the right by NBC and MSNBC was more because of a perception of greater income potential than simple ideological bias. As modern conservativism continues to lose favor, maybe even Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch will make changes to avoid having their viewers limited to an aging fringe audience. The bias for profit will generally win out over ideological bias in the media.

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