SocraticGadfly: Olbermann OUT at MSNBC

January 21, 2011

Olbermann OUT at MSNBC

Brash, allegedly lberal TV talk show host Keith Olbermann is out the door at MSNBC, just after the ink dried on the FCC's approval of Comcast taking over the NBC stable.

It's not clear if the move is related to his politics or not. Chris O'Donnell, more pleasantish, gets his time slot while Ed Schultz falls to 10 p.m. Eastern. But, that means Cent Uygur, father Young Turk, and some actually more liberal than Keith, moves into prime time.

So, if Comcast did do this for political reasons, it doesn't fully know what it's doing.

That said, there may be other reasons.

Uygur is younger than either Olbermann or Schultz.

Despite some people thinking this stinks to high heaven, several points I offer:
1. This probably was a mutual deal, unless Comcast has an incredibly tin ear. That said, if if was mutual, it still has a pretty tin ear on timing, and Olbermann's going to let it take the fall.
2. Ever since Olbermann got the political donation hand-slap, I'm sure he's been looking. My prediction? A talk show. NOT a political talk show. A talk show of the Letterman variety, but more newsy.
3. Not only was Olbermann not always all that liberal, he had some big issues at times. Like Hillary hating, for example.

Update: In a good overview of Olbermann's time at MSNBC, Steve Kornacki reminds us that his crash-and-burn style of dealing with bosses and others has nothing to do with politics in the political sense and in fact traces back to his days at ESPN. Salon also offers a montage of a few of his best clips>

Update : And, Keith now has a Facebook page to get him back on the airwaves. Contra FiredogLake, though, this does NOT mean he was forced out, or, at least not for political reasons. FDL linked to a New York Times media article which points out that the Keithster and MSNBC had been looking to part ways long before the Comcast takeover.
For the last several weeks, Mr. Olbermann and the network have been in negotiations to end his successful run on MSNBC, according to executives involved in the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. The deal was completed on Friday, and Mr. Olbermann made the announcement on his final “Countdown” hours later.

Friday’s separation agreement between MSNBC and Mr. Olbermann includes restrictions on when he can next lead a television show and when he can give interviews about the decision to end his association with the news channel.

The executives involved in the discussions confirmed that the deal carries limitations for Mr. Olbermann in terms of when he can next work on television, though he will be able to take a job in radio or on any forum on the Internet. The deal also prohibits the host from commenting publicly on the deal, the executives confirmed.

So, let's stop the political conspiracy theories.

Now, if Rachel Maddow leaves within in the next 12 months, then yes, start them up.

1 comment:

libhom said...

Olbermann is the first centrist purged by Comcast. More centrists and liberals will be purged later.