And now the “Countdown” begins to see where he’ll end up next.
MSNBC issued a no-comment, no-frills statement, simply saying the two parties “have ended their contract. The last broadcast of ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ will be [Friday] evening.” It’s an intentionally vague statement that will keep the Internet buzzing until answers are released.
Olbermann reportedly had two years left in his current contract, a multimillion dollar deal, leading many to speculate the departure comes with a few skinned knees. “Countdown” was MSNBC’s top-rated show, with Olbermann helping to propel the network’s popularity.
(More on TIME.com: Why was Olbermann suspended from his show in late 2010?)
The 49-year-old Olbermann has hosted “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” in its current form since 2003. His career with MSNBC hasn’t been without controversy, first hosting a show from 1997-1998, but departing in a frenzy after he claimed the network made him focus too heavily on the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. He reappeared in 2003, often railing against his producers and MSNBC management. His name has appeared in national headlines for a very public feud against Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. And late in 2010, Olbermann was suspended for violating company policy by donating to two political campaigns.
Olbermann closed his final show Friday evening saying, “This may be the only television program where the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa.” And without a doubt Olbermann’s next employer will be in awe of the audience, as well.