About 15 minutes before the end of tonight's show, KO pronounced the end of the run of Countdown in a teaser prior to a commercial break. A very-fucking-short statement released by MSNBC on this development:
MSNBC announced Friday night that its marquee "Countdown" anchor and talk show host Keith Olbermann was out. The network did not provide a reason for his abrupt departure. "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," NBC Universal said in a statement.The Comcast/MSNBC merger was completed this week. Coincidence? I think not... Sources indicate Lawrence ODonnell will take over his slot. Rachel Maddow has Chris Hayes subbing for her tonite on her show.
Olbermann and his bosses have clashed in recent months. He was suspended in November for two days after revelations that he gave donations to a Democratic political candidate, which was a violation of the company's ethics policies for news employees.
Update:From what I am hearing from my inside connection @MSNBC, this was most likely KO's move, not MSNBC. They gave him a lot of shit daily, but they would never kill the golden goose.
Update2: From HuffPo - MSNBC released the following statement on their new programming order:
Starting Monday, January 24, "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" will move to 8 p.m. ET/PT and "The Ed Show," hosted by Ed Schultz, will move to 10 p.m. ET/PT on MSNBC. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. "The Rachel Maddow Show" will continue to air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Also starting Monday, Cenk Uygur, MSNBC contributor and host of the popular web show "The Young Turks," will be filling in as host of the 6 p.m ET hour.