Is Keith Olbermann Going to NBC's Versus?

With the Comcast-NBC Merger, there's been talk of NBC beefing up its Versus channel as a competitor to ESPN.

Long story short: NBC Sports and Dick Ebersol will take control of Versus (as well as Comcast's Golf Channel). They'll change the name to a more recognizable NBC brand, use more NBC talent and most importantly, they'll pump money into the network that will allow it to challenge ESPN for television rights deals.

A commenter in our thread on Olbermann's abrupt departure from MSNBC says that's probably where he's headed. Make sense?

Also, Reuters says Keith has two years left on his contract ("The New York Times said he signed a $30 million four-year contract extension in 2008" )and TMZ says he'll continue to be paid his salary (around $7 million a year.)

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  • Display: Sort:
    Good time for him to go (2.00 / 2) (#2)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 01:07:13 PM EST
    His very small audience dropped by around 11% last year alone.  His contract was going to be up after the 2012 election.

    Good riddance.  He's better at talking about sports.

    Well Keith got on (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by brodie on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 03:01:51 PM EST
    a lot of Righties nerves, particularly when he went after the extremists and propagandists at Fox.

    No wonder they want him out of the news and politics business and back to doing only sports.

    Much too small a pond though for Keith at this point, though he may go back there for a while until a better offer comes along.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#4)
    by Radix on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 01:48:05 PM EST
    But he still had the highest rated show on MSNBC.

    Which was nothing (2.00 / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:19:06 PM EST
    (Actually, Maddow has been beating him).

    Plus he lost 25% of his core demographic last year - young people

    And saying someone is the highest rated show on MSNBC is like saying it's the highest-rated show on the ION network - who cares?


    Nah (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Radix on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 05:32:26 PM EST
    The folks that care about ratings are advertisers. So why get rid of your highest rated guy, since revenue is based on ratings?

    Aparently (none / 0) (#7)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:19:36 PM EST
    Harry Saxon doesn't like things like - facts.

    No, (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:34:11 PM EST
    just that you seem to have taken to heart the old Gore Vidal quote:

    It isn't enough to succeed.  Others must fail.

    Maybe, but (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:07:23 AM EST
    getting him off the political beat was doubtless something the new ownership at Comcast was desirous of.  See my comment here, too.

    Going to Versus (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 01:29:22 PM EST
    About the only place he can go - I believe he's not allowed to go to another network at this time.

    All I can add is part of it (none / 0) (#8)
    by SOS on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:49:14 PM EST
    is the cut throat nature of show business.  Which is what News has become. "Show Business".

    The executives have become so greedy now days they don't care who you are if your not doing the numbers it's over.

    Keith Olbermann (none / 0) (#9)
    by Ben Hussey on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:08:30 PM EST
    The only important thing here is that the higher-ups
    at NBC(the parent company) got rid of Keith and they probably won't have to answer to anyone for it.
    When a network gets rid of one of it's most popular
    programs, it must really be under a lot of pressure from people that we may not even be aware of .

    Nah ... the move was too abrupt ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:54:02 PM EST
    if they were gonna keep him in the family.

    This looks like cost cutting.  Buy out his contract while his numbers are down.  

    Maybe KO wants to primary Obama (none / 0) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:56:21 PM EST
    from the left :-).

    Heh! (none / 0) (#15)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 05:15:14 PM EST
    Possibly the only primary candidate (none / 0) (#17)
    by ruffian on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 04:08:00 PM EST
    from "the left" I would not consider voting for.

    KO is maybe half a degree to the left of Obama.


    I;ve tried to feel breathless over (none / 0) (#13)
    by Anne on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 08:43:28 PM EST
    where Olbermann will land, but I just can't seem to get too worked up over it.

    Am still trying to understand why anyone would pay him that much money...

    He brought in the ratings (none / 0) (#14)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 09:40:16 PM EST
    and that counts for a lot in the news biz, unless you're Amy Goodman or work for PBS  :-D