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Keith Olbermann Sounds Off on Clash With Jeff Zucker, Why He Suddenly Left MSNBC

Jun 7, 2011  •  Post A Comment

In anticipation of the premiere later this month of his new "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" on Current TV, the former MSNBC political commentator opened up during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter and dished about not only his new gig but also his sudden exit from MSNBC.

Olbermann says his position at MSNBC took a hit with the death of Tim Russert, who was reportedly one of his few allies in the NBC family. Soon after Russert’s death, Olbermann apparently got into a hassle with Jeff Zucker after Olbermann was perceived to be gossiping about Zucker’s future with post-Comcast NBC.

"There was a lot of speculation about what would happen," said Olbermann. "One surprisingly accurate bit of speculation on every floor of the building was, ‘I betcha they don’t keep Jeff.’ And apparently he heard that I had said this. I was there and I was a convenient punching bag and everybody would believe everything they said about me. And so off I went."

Sources cited in the THR piece say Olbermann will be making $10 million a year at Current, an increase of more than 40% over his $7 million MSNBC salary–which he is still collecting. The show will also include paid contributions from Michael Moore, Matt Taibbi and Markos Moulitsas.

Olbermann’s Current TV show debuts June 20 at 8 p.m., airing opposite his old MSNBC time slot.

7 Comments

  1. You mean Keith Olbermann isn’t on ESPN anymore? LOL

  2. You mean Keith Olbermann is still alive? I’d read somewhere that he choked on his bile and died. Wonder who would have started such a rumor?

  3. I, for one, can’t wait for Keith to return to television. His video clips on the web just aren’t enough. I mean, don’t you want to hear his take on the absurdities in politics these days, everything from Sarah Palin’s PAC-funded family vacation, to the self-destruction of liberal darling Anthony Weiner, to the game of chicken being played over the nation’s debt limit? I know I do.
    Besides, with Bill O’Reilly still on the air, we need Keith as the Ying to O’Reilly’s Yang. Now THAT’S fair and balanced…

  4. Write on, WriterGuy!

  5. Where is Current TV coming up with the money to pay this outrageous salary?

  6. No, I don’t want to hear his takes on Weiner, on Palin, on the debt ceiling, etc., because at the end of the day those takes are fundamentally identical to the rest of the pack of make-believe-media jackasses.
    Olbermann is lock-step with the rest of the progressive hacks who have corrupted the news business in this country over the past 25 years. He just does it with an extra syllable thrown in here and there along with a lot more schoolboy snark.
    He and Al Gore were fated to end up in each other’s arms — they deserve each other.
    KO does have a great voice, but then that’s a little bit like saying Casey Anthony has nice hooters. Neither are going to do either much good where they’re headed.

  7. Addendum: Just want to add that Bill O’Reilly is a fool, too, in the Ted Baxter tradition of TV newsman fools.
    The only meaningful difference between Bill and Ted is that Ted had great hair while Bill has a little less with each passing day.
    Oh, and Bill is a real-world disaster, while Ted at least had the benefit of being fictional.
    Fair and balanced enough for you?

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