The Duke of Ook (ook) wrote in ontd_political,
The Duke of Ook
ook
ontd_political

With Comcast/NBC merger is MSNBC About to Make a Right Turn?

UPDATE: The word out of MSNBC is that Keith Olbermann, who'd been negotiating his severance with one year left on his contract, can't move to another cable/broadcast news channel right away, so he may be "on ice" for some time. On the other hand, he could go back into sports talk.

The MSNBC statement (posted below) about Keith Olbermann's firing came without warning. The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell will move to 8 PM weekdays on MSNBC, and The Rachel Maddow Show remaining at 9 PM, with The Ed Show starring Ed Schultz moving to 10 PM. Cenk Uyger of the liberal "Young Turks" will be taking over Ed's 6 PM slot.

The moves are simultaneous with new owner Comcast starting to show its hand over the broadcast network and cable NBCU (NBC UNIVERSAL Company) after receiving FCC approval. "He's been very problematic," an NBCU source told Deadline about Comcast's attitude to Olbermann. 

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.


above: Comcast's Brian Roberts

Olbermann hosted the highest-rated program on MSNBC. 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 at NBC.

MSNBC STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN: 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.


CABLE NEWS RATINGS: THURS. JAN. 20, 2011

FOXNEWS O'REILLY 2,918,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,079,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 1,940,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,786,000
FOXNEWS BECK 1,780,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 1,460,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,106,000
CNN PIERS 1,025,000
MSNBC MADDOW 976,000
MSNBC O'DONNELL 855,000
MSNBC SCHULTZ 760,000
CNN COOPER 740,000
MSNBC HARDBALL 700,000

Sources after the cut.
Article: http://www.deadline.com/2011/01/nbcu-statement-msnbc-and-keith-olberman-have-ended-their-contract-last-show-tonight/
Ratings: drudgereport.com
Tags: keith olbermann, msnbc
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