Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC, the "Countdown" host announced on his show Friday night.
The liberal commentator told viewers he had been informed "this was going to be the last edition" of his show, but offered no further details.
NBC Universal confirmed the news in a statement Friday night.
"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."
Olbermann made the announcement in his typical deadpan style, evoking scenes from the film "Network" and thanking viewers for keeping him on the air for eight years.
"In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative," Olbermann said before launching into a story about his exit from 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 can get in this tennis result from Stuttgart,'" he said, half-smiling, pausing for composure.
"So I'm grateful I have a little more time to sign off here. Regardless this is the last edition of 'Countdown.'"
Olbermann began his career at NBC in 1997 as an anchor for NBC Sports. During that time he was also host of two MSNBC primetime news programs, “The Big Show,” and “White House In Crisis.”
He left the network amid a dust-up over his dissatisfaction with the network's coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He returned in 2003 as a substitute host on "Nachman" before launching "Countdown."
The prime-time host's departure comes two months after he was suspended for a couple of nights in November for violating the ethics policy of the cable network after Politico reported that he had donated to three Democrats seeking federal office.
The contributions violated an NBC policy that requires employees of the news organization to obtain permission ahead of any political donations or activities that could be deemed as a conflict of interest.
The announcement triggered immediate speculation over whether the coming takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast had anything to do with his departure. NBC has denied that the move had anything to do with the impending takeover, New York Times reporter Bill Carter told CNN's Anderson Cooper.
Olbermann signed a four-year extension on his contract in 2008, Carter said, which will prevent him from appearing on television. He can still do radio and online appearances, he added.
I am so sorry to see Keith go. He was truly the voice of truth and facts, and I will really miss him and his great analysts.. After all, the liberals do not have many spokespeople to compete with the trash put out by the right-wing talking heads! I hope he lands on his feet and is allowed to continue what he does best!
I am sure his 56 viewers will some how cope with this tragic loss.
We are really sorry that Kieth has been let go, is it because he contributed to democrats since when is that a crime.
We used to have a lot of respect for MSNBC but some of that has been lost. Whos next Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews. Now your going to hear all the boloney from beck & o'rielly.
I liked him better as a sports commentator, personally. When I stumbled across Countdown during the Bush years, he made some good points, but the more and more I viewed his show, the more uneasy I became. Any program that presents itself as a news program should be news, not primarily commentary or propaganda. His show eventually became as unbearable to view to my sensibilities as Bill O'Reily. I cannot watch either one nor can I view either "news channel" since they are propaganda arms of the Left and the Right.
When it comes to news programming, I'll stick to CNN and the BBC.
I admire him. I liked his show. Sad to see him go. Not sure I want to watch MSNBC anymore, but where's a liberal to go?
You ultra liberals are on some good drugs if you look up to Keith as your spokesman! He was absolutely horrible. All he could do was call people names and do whatever he could to make them look bad. Keith will now get to realize that yes, he was fired! Due to the fact people got turned off by his lack of class!! Good riddens you piece of trash!!!!!! Go Rush!!
CNN please hire Keith Olbermann and provide some sense of balance
His ratings are terrible. They don;t want him to drag them down.
CNN 's rating are low enough and Keith would only bring then down lower. Now what CNN needs to do is bring Palin aboard, I mean there is a story about her every day on CNN.com. Only one problem, why join a losing network!
Thank goodness ... The reason that Fox and the Tea Party have risen is because MSNBC and 'journalists' like Olbermann purport themselves to be 'objective' and balanced, yet for YEARS have opined only on the virtues of the liberal-left-leaning politiical agenda, while mocking and calling into question anything remotely conservative. At least Fox, Rush, Glenn Beck and others will openly admit their conservative agendas. The same can't be said for MSNBC or CNN.
The American public has really grown weary of the liberal narrative pablum. My proposal: a law that every editor, publisher, anchorman, and news writers for every major publications/media outlets must go on public record (and have verified) how each has voted in the past 5 presidential elections ... Maybe sunshine and transparency will enable the American public to see how 'objective' our news media is ... Good riddance you smarmy, self-righteous, 'smarter than thou' poser ...
You completely nailed it. He is so opinionated and a perfect example of having a hidden agenda. He does not report the facts; just a concerted effort to smear the honest people in politics. I will start watching the home and garden channel – maybe that is where he will end up.
I don't think the show you think you are talking about it the show you think you are talking about....
Kinda like Limbaugh, Beck, et al?
"He does not report the facts;"
Who lied to you telling you that he is a reporter?? Do you even understand the role of the press?
Maybe he'll try sports again.
Hidden agenda? Everyone knows he's liberal where do you get this idea from? Please give me examples of "honesty" that he has lied about!
hello brain-washed sheeple!
there was no "hidden-agenda" from keith he was an OPEN Liberal/Dem.
this aside, KEITH ALWAYS REPORTED THE FACTS.
i know "reality" is hard for (F)Right Wing nutjobs to embrace, but try.
If you look closely, and actually look up the facts behind the opinions that Keith, Rachel and others expressed on their shows at MSNBC, you will find that probably 9 out of 10 times their arguments can be backed up with solid facts and statistics. Unlike guys like Beck/Hannity/O'Reily and Limbaugh who just rely on political opinion and no solid facts or statistics. Much of the the right wing media opinion is factually wrong and can be proven as such. Problem is, no one except guys like Keith would actually call them out on it
So true...he speaks truth to power and that is rare in this era of babbling idiots!
Whether you like Oberman or not, the idea, that he had a "hidden agenda" is ridiculous. He never made any secret of his political leanings.
Very well said.
Well, Keith always claimed his program was commentary and his opinion. Fox's slogan is "Fair and Balanced" What a joke.
Hard to argue with that.
Just heard on David Sirota's am show that in a recent poll Fox was rated as the most "UNTRUSTWORTHY".
Truth be known!
Well now, there's new!!! Old news!!!
Amen to that.
The opinion shows on Fox News have always owned right up and said they are opinion shows. No one on the opinion shows have ever said they are fair and balanced. That is the NETWORK slogan, not the slogan of the opinion shows. There is a difference. Fox News may be slanted in their OPINIONS, but they still do indeed provide their viewers both points of view. Yes, I am conservative, which I have a right to be as much as you have a right to be a liberal. It's ok. As far as Keith goes... good riddance. I'm sure he'll end up on some Democratic campaign staff for 2012. This just gets better and better for us conservatives! In all sincerity... I respect all opinions! Enjoy your day!
Really? This is a network with Rachel Freaking Maddow on it. If you can't see that it has a liberal slant, you are not paying attention. Most media is run by giant corporations, including MSNBC, and it was nice to see a more progressive outlook for once. Keith will be missed.
Who is rachel maddow? I thought that was ralph Macchio........
So true. I recall a guest addressing Rachel as 'sir' and she said "I get that a lot." Maybe she will move to OWN and get a makeover.
In addition to gays, who else do you hate? Let's guess: blacks, jewish, hispanics?? You sound like a proud republican.
You sound a bit like a bigot yourself.
"Who is rachel maddow? I thought that was ralph Macchio........"
HA!!!! Dave...fantastic sir.
Yes, and we know how liberal large corporations tend to be.
You don't know ANYTHING jerk
You really are blind to reality,aren't you?
If your silly "law" existed (assuming you can get the First Amendment repealed), there would be just as many journalists reporting that they voted Republican for years, as those who voted Dem?
Just add up everyone who works for Fox and Fox local stations, the entire WSJ staff, a good 50% of major daily newspapers . . . . . . .
Why do right wingers scream about liberal media, but then apparently feel that it's OK if reporters, editors are biased, as long as they are biased the RIGHT way??
BECAUSE IT'S REFRESHING TO SEE SOME CONSERVATIVE BIAS FOR A CHANGE!! What part of that caon't you understand? It's not that most conservatives actually believe Fox News is neutral, it's just such a freaking RELIEF to hear something other than liberal sludge coming from the mouths of journalists on primetime TV! Geeeeez... how can you be that dumb?
The left hasn't been running the MSM for years, it's now run by the corporate masters and their GOP puppets.
Just turn on am radio and fill your ears with all the conservative mantra you need.
Hatred? Are you serious? Faux news is the one that spews hatred. You are a hypocrite.
Unlike Hannity and Rush 'Jefferson Davis' Limbaugh - Olbermann doesn't have a hidden agenda. His politics are out in the open. Olbermann also reports the truth without slant, but you probably don't know that because you don't watch him, you only listen to Hannity and Limbaugh bashing him repeatedly.
Remember when ur man Keithy kept a body count of the 'Bush War' funny, how he quit the count when Obama took over and has continued the war...he is nothing shy of a hypocrite.
Really. Where have the anti-war people gone with their alleged principles? Their guy is in the White House, so body counts don't matter any more? Nice.
He reported the number of days since Bush declared mission accomplished in Iraq, yet Bush kept the troops there. That's why he reported it while Bush was in office. Once Bush was no longer CIC then there was no need to report the number.
You're right. He then made some other negative comment about Bush. If you honestly believe he gave the count to report fact rather than being critical and condescending you've drink the cool-aid
This is typical of the right wing school of thought. Bush got us in the wars. Once in, we can't just up and leave, overnight, though most on the left would be joyous if we could. So I ask, then: What would have satisfied you? Had he kept up the Bush Wars header, you would complain that it is now Obama's war. (Which would be factually untrue). So he just stops pointing out the Bush death toll, and he is accused of being biased. So I suppose he should have started a new counter, and labelled it Obama Wars? But the wars are not Obama's. So what, precisely, would have made you content?
This is typical of the left wing school of thought. Clinton got us in the wars by not getting "Osama" let we let "Obama" into office and look at the mess we're in. Once in, we can't just up and leave, overnight, though most on the left would be joyous if we could. So I ask, then: What would have satisfied you? Had he kept up the Clinton Wars header, you would complain that it is now Obama's war. (Which would be factually untrue). So he just stops pointing out the Clinton death toll, and he is accused of being biased. So I suppose he should have started a new counter, and labelled it Obama Wars? But the wars are not Obama's. So what, precisely, would have made you content?
As a watcher of both networks, your commentary on Hannity, O'Reilly and others at Fox are clearly labeled as opinion. Only an idiot stretching for some thread to hold on to would claim Fox's "fair and balanced" moniker applies to these shows. However, Shepherd Smith, Brett Baier, Chris Wallace all report the news and even run opinion pieces with at least as much even handedness at CNN. And can you really say that shows like Larry King.with his own particuar world view, could be classified as unbiased? Opinion in the case of these types of shows is based on the world view of the interviewer and the listener.
Should'nt You Guys Be out Yelling at Windmills??? Or chasing Black manchurian candidates with No Birth Certificates?? How do You have time to know so much about them dirty " liberals'??? You're God should be so proud of How You support You're fellow Man. hahah
Fox does not admit their conservative bias. And Olbermann has admitted to his liberalism. Eh, he'll be back. And all the conservatives will remain quarantined at Faux News.
what is a daryle?
You are obviously a Fox Entertainment plant.
Who are you? Our vote is secret – for a very good reason. I am 74 and had to wait until 21 to vote. I have never missed a vote – ever. Keith is sometimes is a little too aggressive, but he is always caring of the least of us.
That's right, himself.
I hope he learns some humilty and how to be a nice person. A positive person. A person that doesn't have segments about Worse, Worser and Worst.
Negativity is missed by few. Here is to a positive America!
"Nice person" huh? "Faux news" getting to your head huh? At least he doesn't rely on yelling and anger like those jerks at Faux news.
I thought he was a good balance for the hype on FOX. He wasn't as negative as that network. Too bad. I will watch for his next show and watch him there.
I hope you learn to spell.... that would be nice also.
something to do with the comcast buy out no doubt
what in the hell..I love Keith! DETAILS PLZ
I liked Keith he said a lot of things that I thought myself he showed a little humanity and compassion for people who were not millionaires . He was for the same things many of us are also for. It is so easy for some to sit back when they have no real things say and name call where no one really knows who they are. I see a lot of that from writers to these pages but there is not much anyone can do about that except overlook them it is useless to argue with such people as they hear nothing except the echos of their own words in their heads. I am glad that I started watching and listening to that show as well as others who dare to actually say what maybe I myself might say about some of the junk that is going on all around us if I had the voice to say it. I did not always agree with all of his opinions but then I don't agree completely with anyone all the time. I for one will miss his show.
Freedom of Speech....not at Comcast!
Time to start looking for a new internet provider. Luckily my TV is DirectTV
you still have mr ed!!!!
Welcome to the NEW, Conserva-nazi COMCAST controlled MSNBC.
comcast nazi? how about ratings?????? you love to smear people just for the sake of smearing because you do do anything yourselves to win people over! long live palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love Keith. His show was the best show on MSNBC. I can't believe they let him go. CNN...pick Keith's show up and I'll start watching you again.
Predictable, I could have told you what he would say about every topic. His guests were mostly lame, never really had debate from opposing points of view.......boring....(his ratings are yawning)
He's probably being tapped as the new press secretary for the Obama administration.
The Comcast-Universal (NBC) merger took effect today so it doesn't take a genius to understand what happened. Keith O will be missed as a counter point to the ultra right wing nonsense on Phony News Network. He was never as abrasive as Beck with his chalk board or Bill O who never lets his guest speak if he disagrees with that guest. I guess we have censorship by money in this country. Buy out the broadcast and print media you don't agree with and close them down. Big money determines what we can see, hear, and read. How sad!
Sad and yet so true.
Well if Rachel Maddow goes too we know what is really going on here. Still I'm sure we will hear the right complain on and on about the "Liberal Media" even as any exposure to ACTUAL liberals is cut off.
Keith's brand of opinion is a little more "in your face" than Rachel's. Perhaps FOX would be an interesting home for Keith. The question to FOX is would the uniqueness of having a liberal firebrand in their stable of firebrands actually get them more ratings? I doubt any of their conservative pundits (even Bill O'Reilly) would quit and, though they would complain, I'm sure their old viewers would keep watching Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck and the like. Meanwhile they might pick UP some with Keith from both his old viewers AND people who tune in for the uniqueness of him being on FOX. Plus some people DO like to seek out stuff that riles them up. Going to FOX MIGHT actually be an god idea ratings-wise.
Perfectly said! Thank you.
Id rather drive red hot spikes through my hands than watch FOX..
I don't watch fox either, but I'd rather drive red hot spikes through my hands than listen to olbermann.
Observation : Keith's friend Rachel Maddow has definitely toned down her rhetoric & her show has changed since last November's elections Good, bad or indifferent she has changed to be more Moderate . She was very wise to anticipate changes with Comcast coming "on board." Clearly she likes her job @ MSNBC. I am PRO political debate. I am a registered democrat & quite liberal ......having said that many of you that bash Fox News clearly do not watch Fox News other than "sound bites", or "sound clips." I too would bash Fox News until I made it my goal to give Fox News a Fair, objective chance by making an agreement to watch them for #6 months. A wise individual would watch IN DEPTH ALL OPPOSING SIDES in this world where our "evening news" looks & sounds more like (SADLY) "Access Hollywood, or "ET." Greta Van Susteren ; for example,is highly intelligent & articulate & I find to be very objective. ............. Not watching FOX & making SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS about them is as wrong as saying that all or most Gay men are efemminate ; or that Keith Olberman was A) Narcissistic , or B) Crazy .
please go ahead! send pictures when u get done
He needn't worry. There's always plenty of job openings for self-hating sh-tbag white race traitors..
For real. All you have to do is tune in Glen Beck...his couterpart.
Have you ever even listened to Beck? If so, please provide a Beck quote (just 1) that demonstrated the bitterness and anger that Obermann displayed every time he was on the air. Good riddance.
When he cried.
ask & ye shall receive –
now don't cry over the factual response you asked for, M'KAY?.
“GOD WILL WASH THIS NATION IN BLOOD IF HE HAS TOO” – GLENN BECK
it's a sad day in America when a voice of truth, reason & "we the people" is silenced & the hate-mongering of Glenn Beck rambles on w/no end in sight!
Piven responds to Beck's ATTACK campaign:
Glenn Beck fosters vitriol – cnn won't let me post the comments on his blog!
they make his “HOLIER THAN THOU” SELF-RIGHTEOUS SCHTICK even more HYPOCRITICAL...
Jewish Funds for Justice served Fox News Joel Cheawood (?) Roger Ailles & Rupert Murdoch, w/10,000 signatures asking for the firing & removal of Glenn Beck from the airwaves for unchecked hate-mongering & public incitement.
I’m happy that my signature was among the 10K :)
Hillary Clinton should be shot... Kieth Olbermann. Great guy...nice thing to say on TV.
you're joking, right? Glenn Beck? I've never seen such negativity. I watched him often in a kind of macabre fascination. He's a lunatic. I consider myself quite conservative, but I like to think about the issues myself, rather than follow some ranting crazy person. The conservative movement in america needs to be better represented–these celebrities are giving a bad name to our cause (as does the so-called Christian right).
You refuse to learn anything, eh?
I am shocked and disappointed! I hope Keith gets another show. He is needed. Why is he out?
Because he SUCKS!!! No brainer.
This blog – This Just In – will no longer be updated. Looking for the freshest news from CNN? Go to our ever-popular CNN.com homepage on your desktop or your mobile device, and join the party at @cnnbrk, the world's most-followed account for news.