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Keith Olbermann Forced OUT at MSNBC

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Author Topic: Keith Olbermann Forced OUT at MSNBC  (Read 840 times)
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2011, 01:19:04 am »

Keith Olbermann Heading To Hollywood? Could Feature In Sorkin Show

In his surprise farewell from his MSNBC show Friday night, Keith Olbermann alluded to the classic broadcast-apocalypse film 'Network,' and its angry, ranting protagonist, Howard Beale. Turns out, it may have been more than a brief note in his goodbye.

Olbermann could channel his own ranting anchor on a Hollywood set, as Entertainment Weekly reports that he could join screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's potential new cable news-themed show. EW writes that Sorkin followed Olbermann while writing the pilot, and a source tells the site that the newly free anchor could contribute on-screen rants to the show.

Sorkin, who just won a Golden Globe for his screenplay for 'The Social Network,' penned the award-winning political drama 'The West Wing,' and the single season of 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,' a take on Saturday Night Live. This show would be a sort of hybrid of the two.

There would, of course, be potential hurdles to any role for Olbermann. Bill Carter of the NY Times reports that, in the terms of his exit agreement with NBC, Olbermann is barred from appearing on television -- for an unspecified period of time -- though he's clear for radio and internet. Any pilot would take a while to be filmed and then picked up, though, so the ban may expire by the time it's ready to air.

Ironically, Sorkin has a long relationship with Olbermann's now-former employer; both 'The West Wing' and 'Studio 60' aired on NBC.

Olbermann announced his abrupt departure on his show Friday, thanking his audience and telling him that he was in awe of their support and activism.
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« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2011, 01:22:53 am »

Did Keith Olbermann Bolt MSNBC to Create Media Empire?
Published: January 21, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

It was Keith Olbermann's decision to leave his high-profile perch at MSNBC, TheWrap has learned. The outspoken host abruptly announced his departure on Friday evening, sending shock waves through the cable news world.

But the sudden departure has a history, and the timing does not rule out a preemptive MSNBC move. The gadfly commentator first told the network last April that he wanted to leave and began negotiating his exit then, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.

Olbermann abandoned the notion of leaving at that time but revived his plans in recent weeks with new representation from the talent agency ICM.

With two years left on his $7 million a year contract, Olbermann was seeking a full exit package but he really has his eye on creating his own media empire in the style of Huffington Post, according to the individual. That way, Olbermann would control his own brand and, in his view, potentially earn far more as an owner.

SEE ALSO:  Video + Transcript of Olbermann's Sign-Off From MSNBC

On Friday, Olbermann informed viewers that he had been told that "this was going to be the last edition" of “Countdown,” which suggested that the departure was not voluntary. The host offered no more information.

    * Video and Transcript of Keith Olbermann's Sign-Off From MSNBC Jan 21, 2011

    * Olbermann's Exit From MSNBC Sends Shockwaves Throughout Cable News Jan 21, 2011

Neither did MSNBC.

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract," said the network in a statement released minutes after Olbermann who ended with his signature flourish of thrown papers, was off the air. "The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening," the statement continued. "MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

The departure of Olbermann, who recently left his long time talent agent Jean Sage to work with a troika at ICM, came so abruptly that MSNBC was still running promos for him and his show an hour after he signed off for the last time.

Immediately after the host said his goodbyes, speculation started that his departure had something to do with the recently approved merger between NBC Universal and Comcast.

 "Of course that is an easy angle to take considering the timing," an individual close to the company told TheWrap, "but it is not true."

The Comcast merger is set to occur next Friday, January 28.

"Comcast has not closed the transaction for NBC Universal and has no operational control at any of its properties including MSNBC," Comcast said in a statement late Friday night. "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."

The tempestuous Olbermman did however,according to the New York Times, “came to an agreement with NBC’s corporate management late this week to settle his contract and step down.”

Though the announcement was quick, there was some warning. Despite the presence of Rachel Maddow and other anchors and on-air personalities, Olbermann was nowhere to be seen Thursday at a lunch NBC News hosted in New York City for advertisers.

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"In a monarchy, the king is law, in a democracy, the law is king."
-Thomas Paine
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