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Friday, January 21, 2011

Olbermann Gone. Thank You Comcast

In a way I am disappointed, now I will never be able to enjoy the supreme honor for a conservative blogger, being named one of Keith Olbermann's Worst Person in The World. I believe Pamela Geller got the honor more than once, Ed Morrissey was named best person of the world and we "ragged on him" incessantly until he was part of a gang of four that won the worst, and  Fox News' Bill O' Reilly probably won the honor more than anyone. Olbermann's obsession with O' Reilly was unparalleled.

Today Keith Olberman and MSNBC parted ways.It is no coincidence that it happened twenty-four hours have the federal government approved Comcast's purchase of MSNBC's parent company. The nastiest man on TV was most certainly fired.  That is not how it was reported but that is most certainly what happened.

Olbermann signed a four-year contract 2 1/2 years ago, but  out weighing the fact MSNBC's new bosses at Comcast probably had to give Olbermann a big wad of cash to go away, is the fact that was not enamored with the MSNBC strategy of all bias all the time. Frankly its not the"bias" that Comcast objects to, its the minuscule ratings. As predicted back in September:
This is a repudiation of the MSNBC strategy of pushing the liberal agenda, when the Comcast sale becomes "official" look for major changes at the network.  Comcast as a company prefers ratings and revenue to promoting a political agenda.
But it was still a surprise today when Olbermann made the announcement at the end of his last show (if you cannot see video below Click Here)

"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 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 the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell...well, you know the rest."
As soon as the show ended MSNBC rushed out a lame announcement:

“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.”

MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines would not comment on Olbermann leaving, he would say only that the acquisition of NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision. And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Olbermann was the first of what will be many MSNBC head's to roll.  It will be a while before any other on-air talent is forced to say goodbye. Olberman was the face of the network, with the star's billing, star's salary,  but he generated nowhere near a star's ratings. His exit from MSNBC was a shot across the bow for the rest of the network, there better be ratings and revenue and it better happen soon.

As for Olbermann don't feel bad for him, he will be back soon.  However not in cable news. My prediction is that the acerbic commentator will find himself at a major internet site such as Huffington Post,  perhaps even to create an internet-TV version of  Countdown.  And if he does, lets hope that he brings back that award for that recognizes the conservatives who are really getting under the progressive's skin. I can only hope.

UPDATE: TMZ says it has inside info. If true the analysis above is right on;

Here's how it went down. Sources familiar with the situation tell us that Olbermann's agent recently went to NBC complaining that Keith -- who has the most popular show on MSNBC -- was underpaid at $7 million per year. NBC execs told Olbermann's agent they would not cough up anymore money.

Network execs were well aware that Comcast wanted Keith gone because he was "a loose cannon that could not be controlled." It became clear to both sides that Olbermann's days were numbered and they began negotiating an exit.

We're told the exit deal wasn't completed until just before airtime Friday night.

Under the deal, sources say Olbermann will get money but cannot appear on television for a certain period time -- we don't know how long.

Our sources say Olbermann will, however, reappear soon with a presence on the Internet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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