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Keith Olbermann Leaves 'Countdown' on MSNBC

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Controversial liberal news anchor Keith Olbermann has left the MSNBC cable network after hosting its most popular nightly show, Countdown, for almost eight years.

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended our contract," NBC Universal said in a statement Friday. "The last broadcast of Countdown will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

The reasons for Olbermann's departure were not immediately clear.

Olbermann suggested as he signed off Friday that he was told abruptly his show was ending.

"I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I've been told -- that this is going to be the last edition of your show," he said. "You go directly to the scene from the movie Network, complete with the pajamas and the raincoat and you go off on an existential, otherworldly verbal journey of unutterable profundity and vision. You damn the impediments and you insist upon the insurrections, and then you emit Peter Finch's guttural, resonant, 'So --.' And you implore, you will the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell-- Well, you know the rest.

"In the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative," he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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