Keith Olbermann Out At MSNBC (VIDEO)
Countdown with Keith Olbermann, a staple of the progressive media diet, and the cable news network’s top-rated show, is no more. In a surprise announcement at the end of Friday’s show, Olbermann said the episode would be his last. A release from MSNBC released shortly after the show ended announced “MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract.”

The release from MSNBC, in full:

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.

It’s fair to say Olbermann’s announcement surprised nearly everyone, fan and foe of Countdown alike. It’s hard to find anyone that saw Olbermann’s departure coming.

According to the New York Times’ Bill Carter, MSNBC has already shuffled its schedule to fill the slot left by its star host:

MSNBC announced that “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” would replace “Countdown” at 8 p.m., with “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz taking Mr. O’Donnell’s slot at 10 p.m.

Carter writes “Olbermann did not discuss any future plans, but NBC executives said one term of his settlement will keep him from moving to another network for an extended period of time.”

Details on Olbermann’s departure from the MSNBC via the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz:

A knowledgeable official said the move had nothing to do with Comcast taking control of NBC next week, although the cable giant was informed when it received final federal approval for the purchase that Olbermann would be leaving the cable channel. This official described the dramatic divorce as mutual.

Olbermann’s sign-off from the show he turned into the television hub of progressive politics and protest in the last eight years:

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