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DATE News (chronologically)
01/22/11
irl
What does Keith Olbermann's departure all mean for IndyCar?
[From the NY Post] Democrat loving broadcast liberal Keith Olbermann's countdown has finally come to an end. The liberal lip of MSNBC was unceremoniously dumped by NBC last night in a major shakeup that set tongues wagging across the broadcast world. Olbermann, in the middle of a four-year $30 million contract reportedly set to last until 2012, announced that last night's edition of his prime-time "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," would be his last.

Sources said network brass basically paid the pontificating pundit to leave by working out an agreement in which he would give up his show and continue to be paid. The garrulous gasbag will likely also have to stay off the air at least until fall under the agreement.

Last night, the unemployed Uberdork -- who was suspended from the network in November for making political contributions to the Democrats -- bid his farewell to fans in a long-winded segment at the end of his show, touting his program as a progressive platform that he felt spoke truth to power.

"The show gradually established its position as anti-establishment, from the stagecraft of 'Mission Accomplished' to the exaggerated rescue of Jessica Lynch in Iraq . . . the program grew and grew, thanks entirely to your support, with great rewards for me and I hope you, too," he blabbed.

Olbermann then took his message a step further, painting himself as a sort of liberal Joan of Arc.

"There were many occasions, especially in the past 2½ years, when all that surrounded the show . . . was just too much for me," he said. "But your support and loyalty . . . ultimately required that I keep going."

The 51-year-old Olbermann's 8 p.m. show drew about 1 million viewers a night last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, but regularly got pasted in the ratings by Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. Still he was the top-rated evening anchor on MSNBC.

Despite his success, last November Olbermann was suspended for a short time for making political contributions. This reportedly led to weeks of turbulent conflict between the host and his immediate bosses at the network. New York Post

In the mid-1990s, Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann were among ESPN's most recognizable faces. Olbermann used the catch phrase "Welcome to the Big Show" when Patrick worked with him on SportsCenter. After getting reprimanded by their superiors, they began saying "This is SportsCenter" sarcastically, accidentally spawning the show's new catch phrase as well as the name of their long-running promotional campaign.

From what AR1.com sources hear, the next time we see Keith Olbermann on TV, he'll be back alongside Dan Patrick talking about sports, we hear possibly on the Versus Channel. We are hearing that it will be rebranded as NBC Sportschannel once the takeover is complete, with Keith as its star personality.

If you were watching David Shuster's guest appearance on CNN last night, you heard him make a key observation: for Keith, it's not about money right now. He has as much money as he'll ever need, so he can do what he wants. And apparently what he really wants is to exact some long-delayed revenge on his bosses at ESPN. 

Might the two be the shot in the arm IndyCar needs on TV if they were to lead a talk SportsCenter-like show that had a lot of racing coverage and also anchor the Versus race broadcasts?  Hmm.....

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