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There are some stories on the blogosphere that claim it was Comcast. Others claim that Keith resigned and still others claim that he was fired by MSNBC executives. We will undoubtedly hear the truth sooner or later.
KO had gone through about one-half of his $30 million 4-year contract when he was abruptly removed from the MSNBC line-up last night. according to reports about that contract, he will not be able to work any where else until the contract expires. More news from HuffPo…
UPDATE: The New York Times’ Bill Carter reports that Keith Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC was “weeks in the making.” According to Carter, Olbermann and MSNBC have both signed on to an agreement which bars Olbermann from returning to television for a period of time, though he is free to take a job on the Internet or the radio. Olbermann is also not allowed to comment publicly on the specifics of the deal, and there are restrictions on when he can give interviews about his departure.
Carter notes that the terms of the deal are similar to the one NBC struck with Conan O’Brien upon his exit from the network–exactly a year before Olbermann’s.
An MSNBC source told the New York Times‘ Brian Stelter that Olbermann’s exit was “all about what he did after the suspension.”
The network suspended Olbermann last November for donating to three Democratic candidates, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson January 8. The suspension brought Olbermann’s already volatile relationship with his bosses to a new low. Instead of apologizing for his actions and keeping quiet (as NBC executives would have liked), the host turned his silencing into a cause celebre, issuing a statement and apologizing to his viewers for “unnecessary drama.” As a result, MSNBC President Phil Griffin threatened to fire Olbermann if he went public with his grievances on other networks.
Whatever the reason for his departure, Olbermann leaves a strained and tense environment behind him, and MSNBC moved quickly to fill the hole in its schedule. Within minutes of the announcement, the network unveiled its restructured evening lineup. Lawrence O’Donnell, host of “The Last Word,” will move to 8 P.M., while “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz will air at 10 P.M. Rachel Maddow’s program will remain in its 9 P.M. slot.
A source close to MSNBC management said network executives have grown increasingly impressed by O’Donnell and feel he has “grown into the job nicely.” According to the source, Schultz will play well with both the late night and West Coast audiences.
“The debut of the new lineup will be the State of the Union, with Lawrence now the central player,” the source said. More…