Olbermann Out/O’Donnell In/Schultz to 10/Uygur to filll in at 6pm

Only Keith Olbermann’s surprise exit from MSNBC could get me to blog 8,000 miles from where I usually blog. I don’t have much to say except…

1) MSNBC had to have armored itself with all sorts of non-besmirch clauses, though it’s not clear Olbermann agreed to them. But if he did, that means you may not be getting a lot of the juicy dirt you’re hoping for regarding how this went down.

2) The Last Word gets the 8pm slot. This is interesting because of what it implies…that The Last Word will go to five nights a week. This makes O’Donnnell’s cris crossing the country every week that much more difficult. What might end up happening is that Fridays will air from Los Angeles.

3) The Ed Show moves to 10pm. But does MSNBC finally cave in on the Friday Doc block and take Schultz to five nights a week? MSNBC’s statement does not discuss this. If Schultz ends up losing an hour a week, he can’t be too thrilled with that.

Update: According to Brian Stelter, Ed’s getting the short end on this deal. MSNBC will never give up its coveted Friday Doc Block, even when the guy who originally came up with the concept (Jeff Zucker) is no longer around.

4) MSNBC is still dancing with Cenk Uygur but still won’t get down on one knee and propose. Uygur’s 6pm ET move is not permanent. Not yet. The fact that MSNBC still won’t commit full time to Uygur after all this time and all the filling in he’s done is noteworthy.

49 Responses to “Olbermann Out/O’Donnell In/Schultz to 10/Uygur to filll in at 6pm”

  1. aaronalowe Says:

    Olbermann out is big news, but why all the weird shuffling? Why not just keep Ed at 6et and have Cenk fill in at 10et? Does Phil Griffin want to drop Ed too?

  2. mlong5000 Says:

    You know if MSNBC really wanted to show their diversity they should find a Black host for the 10pm slot….then when one of their host starts attacking the Tea Party for being all white they won’t have to worry about being called hypocrites for their all white line up…just a suggestion….unless they think Mad Ed will be a ratings juggernaut against Greta.

  3. clindhartsen Says:

    Well, you know, if Shultz doesn’t get his Fridays, maybe he’ll burn the whole place down. 🙂

    Seriously though, good luck to MSNBC on this. I know everyone spoke about this happening for months, but did anyone really think they’d go through with it?

  4. Continuing to think about all of this, and, I am leaning forward in my positive position that all of this is going to work out for the best for Keith and everyone else involved. LOD at 8 will be a positive intro for Rachel and Ed may well be more consistantly disciplined and precise at 10. The expanding opportunities for all of the new talent will provide a fresh enthusiasm to the late afternoon.
    The great thing for Keith is that he will have the opportunity to create his own communication vehicle to provide his intelligent viewpoint.
    Anyway, think positive, you’ll live longer and more healthy

  5. ^I should qualify the above with stating that Alex Witt is on MSNBC and she is my Ms. Sunshine. Absolutely the best way to wakeup on a Saturday and Sunday. Really gets the old batteries charged. 🙂
    Alex is definitely one of my beloved MSNBC ladies.

  6. I’ve said it elsewhere, but I’ll also say it here…
    The new MSNBC lineup looks like a great opportunity for CNN.

    O’Donnell may be able to hold second at 8 and I doubt Maddow will slip, but Morgan is obviously drawing new viewers and as Mark Joyella had noted on Mediaite, the stronger lead-in seems to have brought Cooper within striking distance of second.

    Parker/Spitzer (or plain Spitzer) may pick up a few viewers from the 8pm shake-up and those tuning in early for Piers Morgan, but the real winner out of this thing could very well be Anderson Cooper.

  7. It appears that the initial reaction from FoxNews and its talent to the news of Olbermann’s departure as been slightly above a collective yawn. That’s quite a contrast with CNN’s ‘breaking news’ coverage.

  8. There are more questions than answers on what happened and what’s next in this event but some things seem pretty well settled. This decision has been in the works for some time now; relations probably broke down after the November suspension.

    It’s a negotiated settlement that works for both parties. MSNBC gets rid of a host that was becoming more and more unstable before the more button down Comcast group takes over. Olbermann gets a big payout; probably $8-10 million of the $15 million left on his contract.

    There is most likely a non-compete clause in the agreement that means he’s not going to CNN anytime soon but he can still join a blog like Huffpost or Daily Beast, and thus have a political voice. He can also return to doing sports and will have plenty of offers there as he is well regarded as a sports analysis.

    O’Donnell to 8PM also has financial repercussions. LOD’s contract will have to be adjusted to take in a Friday show and Larry’s opposition to doing a fifth show. He & Joe bantered about that subject on Friday morning. They probably knew what was in the works. I expect Spud is right and Friday’s show will come from the west coast and that will cost money.

    Ed moving to 10PM is the most interesting move by MSNBC. If he loses a show on Friday will his contract also have to be reworked? His ratings have been very good over the last year so this seems like a vote of confidence in his future. It will be really interesting to see what his ratings are at 10PM and if he can hold most of the O’Donnell audience. I doubt it as the shows have a very different feel ; at least to me. I expect there may be some changes in the shows format to reflect the move to 10PM.

    I think there may be more changes coming in the 3PM to 7PM slots. As it stands now Martin Bashir will have 3PM; Ratigan 4PM; Matthews 5PM; Cenk Uygur 6PM and a Matthews repeat at 7PM. I wonder if Bashir’s show is being held up to see how Uygur does with his own show? I wouldn,t be surprised if there was more to come in these slots.

  9. ^Fritz seems to hit it, out of the park, every time that he comes to the plate. Impressive.

  10. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    I second the comment that this is an AMAZING opportunity for CNN – and they’d be stupid not to take advantage of it (although, given their past history…………)
    There’s already been talk of the 8pm program being changed (shuffle out Kathleen, bring in someone new)…CNN needs to make those changes NOW while the cable news landscape begins to make its shift, and hope that a few MSNBC fans decide to flip over to CNN.

    Cooper should probably have an easier time with a weaker Ed Schultz (I doubt he’ll be pulling in the numbers LOD did at 10pm).

  11. […] Of course, there’s a brilliant duality to the joke in the original film. When Beale shouts that he’s “mad as hell,” his television audience thinks he’s extremely upset, while the film’s audience understands that he’s completely lost his mind. Maybe Olbermann wasn’t intending to evoke that aspect of the gag, but it seems likely to me that he was actually being pretty reflexive about it—using it as a way to get at the crazy-making level of stress surrounding his departure without besmirching anyone. […]

  12. Most amusing post-dismissal statement:
    “Hollywood Reporter critic Tim Goodman has thrown out the maybe-not-entirely-crazy suggestion that Fox News sign Olby—instant “balance” and a proven voice [who used to work for Fox Sports].)”

    Maybe-not-entirely-crazy? What would be entirely crazy? Olbermann marrying Roger Ailes and they do a cooking show together on the Food Network?

  13. Well, Bathtub Boy certainly doesn’t fit in anymore with the new “tone” in Washington (Worst Person of the Week, etc). He had to go. BTW, Fox regular John Gibson predicted, on 2/3 of last year I think, that Comcast would fire Olbermann.

  14. The O’REILLY/OLBERMANN Hour…ratings gold if you ask me,

  15. I don’t think FNC would ever sign him. Not because of politics, strictly – because some of his attacks on FNC hosts really crossed the line and got personal.

    It’s a shame Olbermann tends to burn his bridges like this. He’s incredibly talented.

  16. After KO’s non compete clause is over.. I could see FBN (aka the “non” biz news network) swooping in. I mean, wouldn’t a few KO lovers/haters upgrade their television package to see him DO IT LIVE?

    On a side note, it must be nice to get paid crazy money to sit at home.

  17. bushleaguer Says:

    I wonder if O’Reilly will lift his self-imposed rule of not mentioning Olbermann on his show Monday and get a parting shot in during his “Reality Check” segment or something. After years of not directly responding to Olbermann’s relentless attacks, I think he would want to get dig in somehow.

    As far as MSNBC’s new line-up goes, I think they would have been better off to play it safe and have moved Maddow to 8….thus giving Ed Schultz a strong lead-in at 9 and kept O’Donnell at 10. We shall see if the new formula works. Either way, as far as their audience goes Maddow is the big draw now.

  18. I think the FNC move could work. He wouldn’t get his own show; he’d be a panelist like Tucker. KO as the token lib on Hannity’s Great American Panel would be awesome.

  19. I don’t see Ed working at 10. I’ll probably migrate to AC.

  20. joeremi: I’ve never watched Ed, but from the embeds I’ve seen, I don’t think he’ll be putting vision of sugarplums into our heads, right before bed.

  21. ^I guess I should disclose that I generally go to bed nearer dawn and don’t live in the Eastern time zone; The “visions of sugarplums were a rgetorical device”.

    Oh, and if I’m looking for news at that hour, I always go to AC, first.

  22. Magister, I’m on the West Coast and have seen Ed at 1am, which is around my bedtime. Not a good plan..

  23. Schultz will be four days a week (Docs on Fri), Larry O five.

  24. “Schultz will be four days a week (Docs on Fri), Larry O five.”

    Do you have a source for that news Johnny or is it just informed speculation?

  25. Brian Stelter of the NYT. I have links posted.

  26. missy5537 Says:

    If MSNBC wants to show diversity, they should put on a black CONSERVATIVE! Or any conservative for that matter.

  27. Thanks Johnny.

    If true, both those decisions will have contract/financial complications.

    O’Donnell seems pretty determined to not do Fridays (see his comments to JS on Morning Joe yesterday) and Schultz will not be happy about losing Fridays; unless he is paid to agree and/or some other perks are thrown his way. Remember his unhappiness at being left out of the new ‘lean forward’ promotions. At the very least I expect he will get a small increase in salary for moving to prime time.

  28. “If MSNBC wants to show diversity, they should put on a black CONSERVATIVE! Or any conservative for that matter.”

    Last time I checked Missy Joe Watkins and Ron Christie were both black conservatives that appear regularly on MSNBC.

    As well Rachael Maddow did a long polite interview last week with Michael Steele who said he was kept, from appearing on her show when he was RNC chairman; after repeated requests by her producers; because they were afraid he might say something embarrassing on her show. 😉

  29. Josh Kalb Says:

    MSNBC might be tweaking the lineup a bit, fine-tuning once they see what a mistake it is to put Ed on at 10. And why not use this opportunity to finally kill the evil, cancerous, vile, despicable friday doc-block?

  30. Josh Kalb Says:

    As for Steele, I think CNN should hire him to replace Parker.

  31. -because they were afraid he might say something embarrassing on her show-

    While Mr. Steele was RNC chairman, he was the “they”.

    “Steele & Spitzer”… Hmmmm… not such a bad idea, actually. Put them opposite Hannity & Hannity and it could work.

  32. “While Mr. Steele was RNC chairman, he was the “they”.”

    According to Steele he wanted to come on the show but his advisers/political masters said no way. He may be spouting BS; he was the chairman, as you say; but I can see why his media advisers would not want him to appear on the show.

    “As for Steele, I think CNN should hire him to replace Parker.”

    I agree with Al this idea has potential.

  33. “FOX News:


    The article is a rehash of what’s been said so far but the photo of KO is — eh — interesting. 😉

  34. ^ Made me look. The pic wasn’t that interesting.. 😉

  35. Josh Kalb Says:

    I don’t think the pictures that bad, compared to what Politico used for a story on the fairness doctine:

  36. ^ “Made me look. The pic wasn’t that interesting..”

    Neither was the article. 😉

  37. ^ Yep, it pretty much ended the way I thought it would.

  38. If MSNBC wants to show diversity, they should put on a black CONSERVATIVE! Or any conservative for that matter.

    Joe Scarborough?


  39. The Last Word won’t be the last word any longer. Should they change the name?

  40. ^ Good question Josh. My guess it stays ; at least for now as it would be too much change to adapt to at the moment.

    It will also be interesting to see if they try to keep the ‘Countdown’ format going in some way. David Shuster referred to this in his Reliable Sources appearance today.

    There were also lots of popular segments; oddball, WPITW, apology hall of fame etc.; in the show that might be adapted into other shows.

  41. “There were also lots of popular segments; oddball, WPITW, apology hall of fame etc.; in the show that might be adapted into other shows.” – fritz

    WPITW won’t be allowed any longer because of the new civil tone that everyone is adopting. Or is only FNC expected to adopt that new tone?

  42. If I hear “new tone” one more time I’m gonna shoot something..

  43. ^ I can loan you something.

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