(1000+ posts) Tue Jun-07-11 11:18 AM
Original message Keith Olbermann Breaks Silence On MSNBC Exit; Could Earn $100M at Current TV
Also, he's hired David Shuster, and Tim Russert was his champion at MSNBC.
*Olbermann says things turned for the worse after Tim Russert, one of his only allies at NBC, passed away. “Tim knew how to play them,” he says. “He managed to do that with every faction, with every complaint from the Republican side, with every complaint from the Democratic side, with every complaint from a staffer. He knew how to turn it into a conversation that ended in laughter. Tim, for the noblest of causes, could bullshit very well. And I admired him for it. It seems to sap my creative voice.”
*On the night of his final broadcast, Olbermann began the show not knowing if it was his last. In fact, when Olbermann went on air at 8 p.m. EST on January 21, neither he nor his staff knew this was his final broadcast. Olbermann had prepared two endings for the show; one with two readings from James Thurber, and another with a Thurber reading and his farewell to viewers. “As far as anybody knew,” says Olbermann. “I was doing the two Thurber stories.” Meanwhile, huddled off camera at Countdown’s Studio 1A Up, above the Today show’s Studio 1A, were Olbermann’s representatives (two ICM agents and Michael Price, Olbermann’s manager) and MSNBC president Phil Griffin and an NBC lawyer. At the 8:30 p.m. break, the parties agreed to release Olbermann out of his contract and he told his staff for the first time. Later, he and his team went out to eat at New York City’s Gramercy Tavern.
*He has not spoken to longtime mentee Rachel Maddow since leaving. "There were lots of people who were forced to choose sides. And particularly in Rachel's case, I didn't want to add to the pressure on her already. The last thing I need to do is be calling her up and saying, 'How's that Michael Steele working out for you?' Which is exactly what I would do if I were in the office