Countdown host Keith Olbermann had been negotiating his exit from MSNBC for weeks, reports The New York Times. MSNBC came close to firing him over the political campaign donations in November, and Olbermann was conspicuously absent from an NBC event this week.
Should we be worried that MSNBC’s new parent company Comcast is limiting freedom of speech, as the Times source suggests? Comcast maintains that they pledged from day one not to interfere with NBC news operations, but even their own employees know how bad this looks. The Times writes:
“One executive, who asked not to be identified because Comcast had instructed employees not speak about the situation, said the company dreaded the prospect of being blamed if Mr. Olbermann were to quit soon after the takeover.”
It’s likely we’ll have to wait to find out who’s to blame. Like Conan before him (exactly one year before him, strangely enough) Olbermann is barred from commenting publicly about the deal.