Keith Olbermann Tells All For the First Time Since Leaving MSNBC


(Thanks, Hollywood Reporter)

Keith Olbermann gave a no holds-back interview to The Hollywood Reporter for the magazine’s cover issue, and nothing was off limits.

In the interview, Olbermann was asked everything from his abrupt departure from longtime TV home MSNBC, to his new start at the largely unknown cable network, Current, co-founded by former Democratic Presidential nominee, Al Gore.

He had a rocky time with MSNBC in his final years at the cable network, and it was one incident that broke the camel’s back. When asked what the incident was, it was simply gossip. “There was a lot of speculation about what would happen,” he says. “One surprisingly accurate bit of speculation on every floor of the building was, ‘I betcha they don’t keep Jeff [Zucker].’ And apparently he heard that I had said this. I was there and I was a convenient punching bag and everybody would believe everything they said about me. And so off I went.”

He also revealed that he hasn’t spoken to former colleague Rachel Maddow since he left. “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 [who joined MSNBC last month] working out for you?’ Which is exactly what I would do if I were in the office.”

Other revelations in the interview are that he is going to make $10 million annually in his deal with Current. He is also now the Chief News Officer of the network, and has a stake in the company. According to THR, he could make as much as $100 million in the next five years. Also, who’s going to be his substitute anchor? That will be former MSNBC host David Shuster, who was suspended last after taping a pilot for CNN.

The new Countdown with Keith Olbermann launches June 20 on Current.

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