Breaking: Keith Olbermann Announces Abrupt Departure From MSNBC; "Countdown" to End

More detail will no doubt follow, but for now all we know is that Olbermann announced his departure on tonight's show. He didn't give any reason.

LA Times blog:

MSNBC announced Friday night that its marquee "Countdown" anchor and talk show host Keith Olbermann was out.  The network did not provide a reason for his abrupt departure.

"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," NBC Universal said in a statement.

Olbermann and his bosses have clashed in recent months. He was suspended in November for two days after revelations that he gave donations to a Democratic political candidate, which was a violation of the company's ethics policies for news employees. 

More from the AP:

"This may be the only television program where the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa," he said.

He thanked a series of people, including the late Tim Russert, but pointedly not Griffin or NBC News President Steve Capus.

Olbermann's prime-time show is the network's top-rated. His evolution from a humorous look at the day's headlines into a pointedly liberal show in the last half of George W. Bush's administration led MSNBC to largely shift the tone of the network in his direction, with the hirings or Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell in primetime.

MSNBC has announced the new shuffle of its schedule: Lawrence O'Donnell's show now starts at 8 p.m EST. Rachel Maddow will stay in her regular slot at 9 p.m. The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz will air at 10 p.m.

 Here's the video of his his final sign-off:

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AlterNet / By

Posted at January 21, 2011, 3:25pm

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