Shocking news. Keith Olbermann is out!
“The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening,” MSNBC said in a statement.
The anchor, whose “Countdown” has been a proudly “anti-establishement” fixture at MSNBC since 2003, has been at odds with his network for months. Last November, he was suspended for two days for allegedly violating network ethics policies.
According to the New York Times, Olbermann “came to an agreement with NBC’s corporate management late this week to settle his contract and step down.” He had signed a four-year, $30 million contract in 2008.
On his final broadcast, Olberman did not offer an explanation for his sudden departure other than saying, “”this was going to be the last edition” of his show. But he did express appreciation to his viewers.
“It was never the show itself,” Olbermann said. “My gratitude to you is boundless. If you think I have done anything good here, imagine what it looked like from this end.”
“This may be the only TV program where the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa. You will always be in my heart.”
Instead of providing details about exiting MSNBC, Olbermann recalled leaving 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.
“So I’m grateful I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless this is the last edition of ‘Countdown.’”
On the heels of the late breaking news, the network released a statement that read: "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."
According to reports, “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell will move into "Countdown"'s 8 p.m. timeslot, and “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz will replace "The Last Word" at 10 p.m.