Photo: Keith Olbermann
The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” was aired Friday night as MSNBC and Olbermann decided to end their contract.
Olbermann announced his departure toward the end of his program. “This is the last edition of ‘Countdown,’” Olbermann said. He thanked his staff and “just a few of the many people who fought with me and for me” since his return to MSNBC nearly eight years ago.
Neither Olbermann or MSNBC is shedding too much light on why the sudden split but the relationship has always been a stormy one.
It comes as Comcast is said to be near to closing its deal to acquire control of MSNBC parent NBC Universal from General Electric. But network executives told the New York Times the pending takeover had nothing to do with Olbermann’s exit.
NBC News briefly suspended Olbermann with pay last November after it learned he had made campaign contributions, an apparent violation of its policy for journalists,. Olbermann argued he was a commentator and in no way pretending to be neutral politically.
Before Olbermann’s most recent run at MSNBC, he spent 13 1/2 years at ESPN, where he and co-host Dan Patrick hosted “SportsCenter” program,. As a sportscaster, Olbermann also has worked for Fox Sports and CNN, as well as local stations in Boston and Los Angeles. He currently writes the Baseball Nerd blog for Major League Baseball’s MLB.com site.