2 items from 2007
NEW YORK -- Keith Olbermann will continue to count down the day's top stories on MSNBC for another four years and will add two primetime specials a year and occasional essays to NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams.
Financial terms of the deal for the Countdown host weren't announced.
Locking up Olbermann gives MSNBC added security and firepower at a time when it has never been in a better position against second-place CNN in the cable news race. Countdown, which Olbermann hosts weekdays at 8 p.m. against Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor and CNN's Paula Zahn Now, is been a major growth agent in MSNBC's rise.
Olbermann's ratings have jumped 89% year-over-year, in part because of his commentaries against the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina and against the war in Iraq. And a on-again, off-again feud with O'Reilly as well as the show's quirky, informative and fast-paced tone haven't hurt ratings either.
"It's an incredibly important franchise for us," said NBC News president Steve Capus, adding that Countdown has been the centerpiece for the resurgence and growth at MSNBC. »
MSNBC would not comment late Wednesday.
Olbermann, a former ESPN sportscaster, gained publicity last year for his feud with Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly and his special commentaries against President Bush's policies, particularly in regard to the response to Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. Countdown recently has seen a strong uptick in ratings, helping lead MSNBC to the best competitive position in its history against second-place CNN.
Details of Olbermann's contract were not available. It also isn't known whether it includes any other opportunities within the NBC Universal family.
Olbermann first gained fame in the early 1990s as one half of the famed SportsCenter team with Dan Patrick from 1992-97. Olbermann eventually left ESPN in 1997 in an acrimonious split that was only healed in recent years; he now regularly co-hosts The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio with his former colleague. »
2 items from 2007
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