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Olbermann’s MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making

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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:20 PM
Original message
Olbermann’s MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making
Source: New York Times

On Thursday, NBC’s news division staged an elaborate presentation for advertisers, seeking to sell commercial time in NBC’s news programs over the next year. All the members of MSNBC’s prime-time lineup spoke at the lunch with one exception: Keith Olbermann, the network’s biggest star.

For the last several weeks, Mr. Olbermann and the network have been in negotiations to end his successful run on MSNBC, according to executives involved in the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. The deal was completed on Friday, and Mr. Olbermann made the announcement on his final “Countdown” hours later.
Friday’s separation agreement between MSNBC and Mr. Olbermann includes restrictions on when he can next lead a television show and when he can give interviews about the decision to end his association with the news channel.


The executives involved in the discussions confirmed that the deal carries limitations for Mr. Olbermann in terms of when he can next work on television, though he will be able to take a job in radio or on any forum on the Internet. The deal also prohibits the host from commenting publicly on the deal, the executives confirmed.

Mr. Olbermann did not respond to requests for comment Friday or Saturday. None of the executives who discussed the deal would reveal the exact length of the restrictions.



Read more: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/olbermanns-msnbc-exit-was-weeks-in-the-making/?smid=tw-nytimes
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. If Keith timed his exit
he chose his week well.
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denem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Comcast officials were worried about the perception that they might interfere with MSNBC"
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 03:26 PM by denem
I bedt they were ;)

"Comcast proved expert in shaking down the government to approve its merger. Comcast’s shakedown of NBC has just begun.”
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Exactly... which is why this whole story is suspect...
It strikes me as damage control. Even if true, does not prove Comcast was not behind it.
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. You mean like when one side gets to speak, but the
other does not? And, why there are restrictions on when KO can work on TV?

Steve Jobs had similar restrictions when he was forced out of Apple and what he could do initially with NeXT.

This was initiated by Comcast.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. "One side gets to speak & one side doesn't." Nail on the head.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Not worried enough!
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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. The inside dope...
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
29. Just as I thought...
But word has been circulating for months now that the new owners have wanted to "tinker" with MSNBC and had many changes in store, including a right turn for the left-wing cable channel so that it represents both political points of view more evenly. It is well known that both Comcast chief Brian Roberts and NBCU chief Steve Burke have donated heavily to the Republican party with Burke more recently donating money to a few Democrats as well as heavily to Republicans. Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the 2000 Republican Convention while Burke raised at least $200,000 for George W Bush’s re-election campaign. 


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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Candidate for this year's "You Call This NEWS?" award
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 03:27 PM by rocktivity
Who do you think you're dealing with here, Sarah Palin? Keith must have known his days at least COULD be numbered the minute Comcast made their first offer. And you can also bet that he's been forming a backup plan since then, too!

:headbang:
rocktivity
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Duwamish Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. At least this reduced the number of Palin stories and posts.
As Keith says: That woman is an idiot!
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Sounds like they paid off the remainder of his contract,
since he's limited for a period from television host appearances. I believe he had two years left on a 4-year contract. We'll be hearing from him in other media, but not about the reasons for the separation from MSNBC.

Or, perhaps, he'll take those proceeds and take a couple of years to write a book. Who knows?
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. maybe he was just sick & tired of the show and wanted a break so he asked to be let out? nt
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Perhaps a lot of things. If it's true that he's contractually
prohibited from discussing it, then speculation will run rampant (as if it hasn't already).
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Highly doubtful considering the way he went out

He would have gave fair warning of his departure, not end it with "I'm told this will be my last show".
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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. The GOP is 100% responsible for killing Keith Olbermann's program
Without a doubt, the right-wing media consortium arranged this first of many attacks against First Amendment heroes and heroines of the progressive left. I am in the process of creating a fully-credentialed editorial on how the oppressors, the same ones behind the backing of the worst conservative in the world, Sarah Palin, have started to reap their own destructive spoils. This is NOT just about Olbermann: this is an unabiguous attack on EVERY progressive and centrist point of view on the air or on cable. Be very wary. Democratic Underground may be in the crosshairs too. (We are allowed to use those terms. The GOP is not).
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Well, it'll be interesting to see how well you can support you
theory. Good luck with that.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Two facts back him up
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 03:51 PM by Tempest
1. NBC's new head is a right wing conservative who contributes only to Republicans.

2. Comcast's CEO is a right wing conservative and Bush crony.


Keith was suspended soon after the NBC head took control and now he's fired within a week of Comcast's approval to purchase NBC.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. And yet, others remain on the air.
Rachel, for example. Concurrence is not always equivalent to causation, you know. MSNBC is there to make money. Truly. You mention two data points, but they may not be the cause of this particular situation. They may just be happening at the same time. I don't know, but you don't either. You're speculating. I'm not. I'm waiting for actual information this particular situation.
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Tempest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Regulators would have had a field day if they fired Rachel and Larry at the same time as Keith
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 04:16 PM by Tempest
MSNBC is there to make money.

So why did they let go the guy with the highest rated show on their network?


My money is on Rachel and Larry getting canned within a year.
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The Wielding Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
27. I just read this by reporters at Deadline.com.
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 05:36 PM by The Wielding Truth
http://www.deadline.com/2011/01/nbcu-statement-msnbc-and-keith-olberman-have-ended-their-contract-last-show-tonight/

http://www.deadline.com/tv/

Officially, the Comcast takeover is next week. But word has been circulating for months now that the new owners have wanted to "tinker" with MSNBC and had many changes in store, including a right turn for the left-wing cable channel so that it represents both political points of view more evenly. It is well known that both Comcast chief Brian Roberts and NBCU chief Steve Burke have donated heavily to the Republican party with Burke more recently donating money to a few Democrats as well as heavily to Republicans. Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the 2000 Republican Convention while Burke raised at least $200,000 for George W Bush’s re-election campaign.

Olbermann hosts the highest-rated program on MSNBC, which isn't saying much since that channel's ratings lag those of Fox News by a big margin. His Countdown averaged 1 million viewers, down a modest 10% from 2009. However, he's known as a very polarizing figure and a loose cannon, and became more and more of a liability for MSNBC. In November, he was briefly suspended for making Democratic campaign contributions -- and then reinstated. Olbermann's exit follows yesterday's departure of NBC primetime president Angela Bromstad in a housecleaning there.


NIkki Finke's perception by others:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Finke
founder and editor in chief and general manager of Deadline.com
Praise

In 2006, Finke's LA Weekly columns won First Place in the Alternative Weekly Awards for the category Media Reporting/Criticism, Circulation >50,000.<12> In 2007, Finke won the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Award for "Entertainment Journalist of the Year" with the judges commenting: "Reading Nikki Finke’s salaciously candid coverage of Hollywood and its inhabitants almost feels like a guilty pleasure. She mixes the news with fearless finger-wagging that’s just fun to read no matter the subject. She tackles the industry monoliths without the kiddy gloves and she seems to have command of the beat."<13> In the 2007 AltWeekly Awards, Deadline won Second Place.<14>

A studio executive said of Finke, "She's very, very, very, accurate, extraordinarily so—you have a supposedly private conversation with two other people, and it's on her site within an hour." Charlie Koones, former Variety publisher, called her a "once-in-a-generation talent".<10>

Criticism

Observers have questioned Finke's "harsh tone", "summary executions,"<7> "penchant for innuendo and unnamed sources", and allegedly giving better coverage to "her favorites"<4> and frequent sources, such as Ari Emanuel and Ronald Meyer.<10> In 2008 she was criticized for first posting a Sony press release and then adding her own analysis which contradicted the release without updating the time stamp, and in early 2009 she was accused of retroactively altering<4><7><10> a Deadline Hollywood Daily report about the director of the third Twilight film.<15><[br />
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davidwparker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. +1
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kjackson227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. Well, I'm sure ALL of the details are soon to come out...
and when they do, this organization and others like it will continue to organize and petition to help make sure that journalists who represent our progressive voices continue to be heard. Until then, please say thanks to Keith.

http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/pccc_keith/?source=auto-e&referring_akid=3218.130327.Wa_hGE

Soon, every network will end up spouting reich-wing propaganda, same as Fox. Let's do our part to make sure this doesn't happen.
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Plucketeer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
16. All I know for certain...
is that my high point of every day has been yanked from beneath me. We'll still watch MSNBC until it turns it's tone in a different direction. And if it does, dear god, let the rest of the folks who made MSNBC a powerhouse lead a mutiny to some internet sanction.



GOP JOBS PLAN
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. What's next for KO
Lots of options

Even though KO can't do TV for awhile till the time in the settlement agreement has been fulfilled he can still write a book, do radio (SIRIUS), write op-eds, and post internet videos.

After that maybe he'll head to HBO, CNN, Oprah's new network, or wouldn't it be great if someone were to start a new 'liberal leaning news network' ?

I think it would be pretty awesome if someone were to start up a new network and hire all the folks that are now out of work: Keith Olbermann, David Schuster, Rick Sanchez, Phil Donahue, Rosie O'Donnell, Roseanne Barr, etc ;)
And then pull Rachel Maddow and Cenk Uygur over there too!
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jzodda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm depressed
I mean this sux! Its brutal :(
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Tx4obama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I agree. I feel like I've been hit in the nuts, and I'm female. n/t
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jzodda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. I didnt even watch live..Lately I have been recording Countdown
on the DVR and so I was watching after I woke up today (Sat) with a mug of coffee. When he started to say goodbye I could hardly believe it. Then I felt numb...
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prowriter Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. Keith's Departure
My guess is, Keith was fed up dealing with the religious
bigotry at MSNBC.
Good for you Keith. Can we expect Rachel to be next?
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
23. Dupe .... Here's the thread I posted earlier today
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Skip_In_Boulder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
30. I've said for years that when push came to shove
Olbermann would be the first to go. He had a bad habit of telling the truth.
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