I don't care what they say this has a lot to do with the Comcast merger. Keith Olbermann was one of the only people in mainstream media that actually had a mea culpa after the shootings in Tucson. It is definitely sad to see him go, but I'm glad Rachel Maddow is still on. Hopefully she'll be able to last after the merger.
Via Huffington Post:
Keith Olbermann and MSNBC abruptly announced tonight that "Countdown" has ended, effective immediately.
Olbermann broke the news to his viewers during his show's final sign-off (full video below). MSNBC issued a statement with the news following tonight's episode. According to the New York Times, the host came to an agreement with NBC management late this week to step down. "Countdown" aired for just under eight years.
The bizarre timing of the announcement has raised a number of speculations, from Olbermann's suspension last November to the departure of NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker in light of the network's recent acquisition by Comcast.
NBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said the Comcast merger had nothing to do with the decision.
Within minutes of the announcement, MSNBC unveiled their restructured evening lineup. Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," will move to 8 P.M., while "The Ed Show" with Ed Schultz will air at 10 P.M. Rachel Maddow's program will remain in its original 9 P.M. slot.
A source close to MSNBC management said network executives have grown increasingly impressed by O'Donnell and feel he has "grown into the job nicely." According to the source, Schultz will play well with both the late night and west coast audiences.
"The debut of the new lineup will be the State of the Union, with Lawrence now the central player," the source said.
Another source close to the network's management said that O'Donnell's background in both politics and entertainment helps him. "O'Donnell is a liberal Democrat, but he is an inside player -- a player -- by nature, having worked on the Hill for Pat Moynihan and in Hollywood."
Others believe "Hardball" host Chris Matthews will benefit from the shakeup. "One of the other winners in this is Chris Matthews," a source close to MSNBC management said. "He's been steady and uncomplaining. His numbers are better and he has a natural Philly connection to Comcast."