Via TV Newser. Relevant segment at about 6:20.
I heard David Shuster on the Stephanie Miller radio show discussing Keith Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC this morning, and from what he said, it still sounds as if Keith and his employers came to a mutual decision, with Keith having been increasingly frustrated over the past several months. David talked about MSNBC’s brass, who’s in and who’s out, and how that might have affected Keith’s decision to leave. Of course, it’s clear Keith wasn’t happy with the Comcast merger and what it could mean to future programming, nor could he be thrilled with other impending changes, which seem to include a more NBC network style news approach, per Shuster.
What was also clear is how deeply Keith was affected by his viewers, their loyalty, and their support.
David said that MSNBC is still free to do its current thing, and that, at this point at least, Comcast wouldn’t want to mess with success, considering that Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and The Ed Show have all contributed to an upswing in ratings. That doesn’t mean, of course, that if they can’t maintain their audiences, management wouldn’t change the schedule or remove current broadcasts. But per David and others, Comcast wasn’t directly responsible for kicking Keith out. The tension was obviously building for awhile. This is not to say the merger didn’t factor into Keith’s reasons for leaving, as I mentioned above. He saw what was coming.
David Shuster also went into some detail about how Keith picked a remarkably talented team, how well-oiled a production it was, and how these same highly professional people were let go along with Keith.
Stephanie Miller spoke to Ed Schultz, who told her that he and other hosts were under pressure to refrain from sharing any information they might have on the matter.
On Friday, former MSNBC host David Shuster wondered whether the coming structural shakeup influenced Olbermann’s departure. “Steve Capus, who’s the head of NBC News, will certainly have much more influence over MSNBC, and this may be part of it,” he told Anderson Cooper. “It was no secret that Steve was particularly upset — justifiably so — with how Keith handled the suspension.” [...]
[A] person familiar with Olbermann’s exit agreement said it prevents him from turning up on a competing channel for about a year.
Shuster is working on a venture of his own, coming this spring, involving original investigative reporting, something that has been sorely lacking in the media these days. He has financial backing and said he would reveal who those backers are when he premiers the project.