Olbermann: Was He Fired By Comcast?
Just three days after regulators announced approval of Comcast's takeover of NBC, why is Keith Olbermann gone from MSNBC. Call me cynical, but the following paragraph only reinforces my belief that he was forced out by the incoming management team.
NBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said the Comcast merger had nothing to do with the decision. Comcast released a statement early Saturday morning echoing those sentiments. "Comcast has not closed the transaction for NBC Universal and has no operational control at any of its properties, including MSNBC," the statement said. "We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBC Universal's news operations. We have not & we will not."
Doesn't that remove all doubt? Well, maybe not. Media observer Howie Kurtz suggests at the Daily Beast that Olbermann may have quit in anticipation of being owned by Comcast. Keith did seem quite comfortable as he gave his farewell statement.
Numerous staffers at MSBNC believed it was only a matter of time before the prime-time host, who once quit ESPN, would either bolt or be pushed out. If Olbermann concluded that he would no longer have the independence he craved in the more buttoned-down Comcast era, it is unlikely that anyone in the NBC executive suites tried to talk him out of it.
Rachel Maddow explains how things look from her perspective, claiming not to know much about it.
Keith was said to have been halfway through a four year, $30 million deal.