final show. Giving no clue by his demeanor, Olbermann broke the news late in the hour between his last two segments, and concluded with his now standard reading from James Thurber. I'm a little stunned.
I've watched the program regularly since before Olbermann's political leanings were overt. I just liked the format, and the focus that he put on some stories that you didn't see elsewhere. All the way back when he had segments like "keeping tabs," a sarcastic lampooning of the tabloidy stories of the day. On one hand, this is going to disrupt my routine in a big way! On the other hand, it is going to free me up from a routine that had perhaps taken too deeply to root.
Where this leaves MSNBC, and why the heck it happened is anybody's guess. I'm thinking that this decision came fairly abruptly. Olbermann has recently discontinued his popular "Worst Persons in the World" segment, and had said that it may return in a changed form. . .which doesn't sound like a person who is preparing to leave. And MSNBC has only recently added The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, rounding out their full schedule for the first time. The Rachel Maddow Show--which was basically spun off from Countdown, and championed by Olbermann--is now without a lead-in. Countdown was the linch pin, and the highest rated program on the channel.
So, however much the mucky-mucks at MSNBC might have personally disliked Olbermann, it would be a crappy business decision to fire him. I know that Comcast's all but assured purchase of NBC could be a factor, and surely will feature in a conspiracy theory or two. But I'm guessing this was Olbermann's decision, and I'm anxious to hear the full story. Provided we ever get it, of course. In the tv and radio business, these sorts of things can be shrouded in mystery, and several alternate "realities" later dribble out from all parties concerned. In any event, I'll miss the program, and I hope that Rachel Maddow gets to keep her job.