Olbermann Renews Contract
After reportedly seeking a four-fold increase on his pay, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann renewed his contract with the network for four more years. Per the deal, he will continue hosting Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and take on new roles contributing occasional essays to NBC's Nightly News and hosting two primetime Countdown specials a year on NBC.
B&C broke the news that the controversial host was said to have been seeking more than $4 million a year to renew his contract, which came due in April. His current deal is believed to have paid about $1 million per year.
Olbermann declined to comment on whether he had been seeking such a big pay jump or on what he eventually got except to say that the deal was “an absolutely satisfactory agreement in all regards.”
“After you get to a certain point, what’s the diff?” he said.
Olbermann sought the big payout because his 8 p.m. show is a ratings superstar for MSNBC. It finished January with an average 283,000 viewers in news' key 25-54 demographic and 715,000 total viewers, up 89% and 85%, respectively, over last year.
"Keith Olbermann is a tremendous talent and a superb broadcaster," said NBC News President Steve Capus in a statement. "He is an asset to NBC News and the timing of this announcement couldn't be better given the momentum Keith's program is enjoying right now."