Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC, the “Countdown” host announced on his show Friday night.
The liberal commentator told viewers he had been informed “this was going to be the last edition” of his show, but offered no further details.
NBC/Universal confirmed the news in a statement Friday night.
“MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. 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 made the announcement in his typical deadpan style, evoking scenes from the film “Network” and thanking viewers for keeping him on the air for eight years.
“In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative,” Olbermann said before launching into a story about his exit from ESPN 13 years ago.
“As God as my witness, in the commercial break just before the emotional moment, the producer got into my earpiece and he said, ‘um, can you cut it down to 15 seconds so we get in this tennis result from Stuttgart,’” he said, half-smiling, pausing for composure.
“So I’m grateful I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless this is the last edition of ‘Countdown.’”
There were no comments on future plans but Media Decoder reports that “one term of his settlement will keep him from moving to another network for an extended period of time.” They also report that Lawrence O’Donnell’s show will replace Countdown at 8 p.m. and Ed Schultz will move to 10 p.m.
My response on Facebook & Twitter:
Anyone want to start a rumor that Keith Olbermann left MSNBC to become White House Press Secretary, and watch some conservative heads explode?
The idea (regarding the rumor) and the underlying idea (Olbermann as press secretary) received a lot of favorable comments. There’s even media support from the idea. Among my Facebook friends giving this a “Like” on Facebook was Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune.
Also got Rick Roll’d over this on Twitter.