Is Comcast Behind Keith Olbermann’s Departure From Countdown?

Keith Olbermann 3
Keith Olbermann

One of the most trusted and respected voices on MSNBC sent shockwaves throughout the cable news industry tonight with eight words: “This will be the last episode of Countdown!”

Keith Olbermann’s announcement on tonight’s edition of his show brought a shocking, but not a totally unexpected end to the eight year run of the network show. And after Mr. Olbermann said his goodbyes to the audience, social networks like Twitter and Facebook buzzed with the news.

Olbermann was always one of the balancing voices against the insanity of today’s Republican party, Fox News and the right winged propaganda machine, so speculations about his abrupt removal from the MSNBC line-up are sure to be the topic for quite awhile.

MSNBC’s statement concerning the news:

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.

In announcing his departure, Olbermann told the viewers;

“I was supposed to fill in for the late Jerry Nachman for exactly three days. 49 days later there was a four-year contract for me to return to this nightly 8 PM time slot which I had fled from four years earlier.”

The program grew thanks entirely to your support with great rewards for me and I hope for you. There were many occasions particularly in the last two and a half years where all that surrounded the show — but never the show itself — was just too much for me. But your support and loyalty and if I may use the word insistence ultimately required that I keep going.”

It should be noted that Comcast recently got the approval to acquire MSNBC, so this decision to end Countdown With Keith Olbermann seems a little more than just a coincidence. Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the 2000 Republican Convention, and Steve Burke, who served as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and President of Comcast Cable for more than five years, raised at least $200,000.00 for Geroge W. Bush’s re-election campaign.

Draw your own conclusions…

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