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Entries in Keith Olbermann (6)

Saturday
Mar312012

Keith Olbermann Threatens Suit Over Current TV Firing

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Keith Olbermann has threatened to sue Current TV after the controversial host was fired from his primetime slot less than a year after he joined the network.

Former Vice President Al Gore, the co-founder of Current TV, said in a statement that the network was founded on “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann.”

Not one to go down without a fight, Olbermann fired back on Twitter, writing that the accusations were “untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.”

Gore’s stark language in severing ties with Olbermann less than a year after the dream deal stunned media observers.

“It’s surprising to watch Al Gore, who swore he knew how to handle Keith Olbermann, essentially throw in the towel and say he and Current TV don’t line up anymore,” Brian Stelter, a New York Times media writer, told ABC News.

The former host of “Countdown” on MSNBC, who was reportedly being paid $50 million for five years, was immediately replaced by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who took over the 8 p.m. slot with a show called “Viewpoint.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan232011

Olbermann’s Exit From MSNBC May Mean Media Limitations

Photo Courtesy - MSNBC - TV(NEW YORK) – Keith Olbermann surprised television viewers across the country on Friday with a brief, surprise resignation from his duties as host of Countdown With Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. In a short statement, he offered no explanation for his departure other than a quick thank you to those around him.

Now comes a report that his exit from the program was not abrupt, as many thought, but rather a planned event due to behind the scenes turmoil. The New York Times reports that in a presentation to potential advertisers on Thursday, MSNBC executives did not include Olbermann’s show along with the rest of the network’s primetime offerings.

The newspaper report cites executives from the network who said Olbermann, whose show was the highest rated on the network, would not be able to talk about his departure for several months, or work as the host of a television show for an undetermined amount of time. He would, however, be able to work on a radio program or on the Internet.

There has been widespread speculation that Olbermann’s departure was tied to the takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast, and that he may have been ushered out for political reasons. However Comcast issued a statement Friday, saying “We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBC Universal’s news operations. We have not and we will not.”   

As for where the former SportsCenter and ESPN Radio host will land, he may have offered one clue on his Twitter account. Though he has not Tweeted since Friday, his biography has been updated to read “W A T C H T H I S S P A C E MLB.Com Baseball Nerd blog returns 2/14." Olbermann writes a baseball blog which is hosted by MLB.com.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan212011

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

Friday
Nov192010

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Suspended for Political Donations

Photo Courtesy - Virginia Sherwood/MSNBC(NEW YORK) -- MSNBC personality Joe Scarborough has been suspended for two days after admitting he had donated thousands of dollars to political campaigns, a breach of network policy.

In a statement released Friday, Scarborough called the donations "simple acts of friendship" and said that he did not seek approval for the donations because they involved "local, noncompetitive races" that he didn't think were "relevant" to his work.

Scarborough's suspension comes two weeks after it was revealed that another MSNBC host, Keith Olbermann, had made donations to three Democratic candidates.

As in Olbermann's case, MSNBC President Phil Griffin, released a statement explaining that Scarborough's donations were against company policy.

Scarborough will be suspended for two days without pay and will return to the air Nov. 24, according to Griffin.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

'Countdown' Host Keith Olbermann to Be Back On-Air Tuesday

Photo Courtesy - MSNBC(NEW YORK) -- Keith Olbermann can go back on the air Tuesday after what his MSNBC boss decided was an "appropriate punishment" for making contributions to a trio of Democrats.

MSNBC President Phil Griffin made the announcement late Sunday that Olbermann would be allowed to return to Countdown, the cable channel's most popular program.

"After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy," Griffin said in a brief statement.  "We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."

Olbermann, who was suspended Friday after it was revealed that he contributed to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates, took to the Internet earlier Sunday to update and thank supporters.  Olbermann posted the following message Sunday afternoon:

"Greetings From Exile!  A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO."

Politico reported Friday that Olbermann contributed to the candidates in the run-up to Tuesday's midterm elections, making a donation to Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva on the same day he appeared on the cable news show.

In a statement announcing the suspension, MSNBC said its ethics policy bans journalists from making political contributions.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov052010

Suspended: MSNBC Pulls Plug on Keith Olbermann

Photo Courtesy - MSNBC Photo(NEW YORK) -- MSNBC has suspended political commentator Keith Olbermann as a result of donations he made to three Democratic congressional candidates during the midterm elections.

“I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night,” said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a statement issued Friday. “Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”

The cable network, which falls under the NBC News umbrella, prohibits employees from taking part in behavior that may “jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

The policy specifically prohibits contributions to political campaigns.

Olbermann is the host of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont Friday expressed his opposition to the network's decision to suspend Olbermann.

“It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a candidate of his choice. This is a real threat to political discourse in America and will have a chilling impact on every commentator for MSNBC," he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio