Keith Olbermann Out at MSNBC; Lawrence O'Donnell Takes Over Timeslot

6:04 PM PST 01/21/2011 by THR staff
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Donna Ward/Getty Images

Olbermann was conspicuously absent at NBC News lunch for advertisers yesterday.

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has resigned, he announced on-air Friday.

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract," reads a statement. "The last broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

Following his abrupt departure Friday, the cable news channel issued the following statement:
"Starting Monday, January 24, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell will move to 8 p.m. ET/PT and The Ed Show, hosted by Ed Schultz, will move to 10 p.m. ET/PT on MSNBC. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. The Rachel Maddow Show will continue to air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
 
Yesterday, NBC News hosted a lunch for advertisers at New York's Gotham Hall attended by NBC News and MSNBC anchors and employees. Olbermann was conspicuously absent. Comcast's Steve Burke was seated at the same table as Meet the Press host David Gregory and NBC News president Steve Capus. Today's Matt Lauer was master of ceremonies for an NBC News-themed trivia game dubbed "Did you know?" MSNBC personalities Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and Lawrence O'Donnell - all in attendance - were all subjects of trivia questions.
 
Olbermann was briefly suspended following the November elections when it was revealed that he had donated a small amount of money to three Democratic candidates for Congress.
 
 

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A full transcript of Olbermann's farewell follows on next page.

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