MSNBC has suspended its primetime anchor Keith Olbermann
indefinitely without pay for making political donations, the network said Friday.
MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts hosted his show, CountdownWith Keith Olbermann, Friday night at 8 p.m. For a brief time
earlier in the day, there had been speculation Chris Hayes, Washington editor
of The Nation and an MSNBC
contributor, would be replacing Olbermann for the night. However, the MSNBC
spokesman said while Hayes had been asked to do it, he ultimately didn't. Hayes
went to Twitter
saying: "OK: I'm not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn't
feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances. <1/2>."
The network had no comment on a permanent replacement.
Olbermann reportedly made contributions to the campaigns of
three Democratic candidates this fall, an apparent violation of NBC News
to Politico, who first reported the story. Politico said Olbermann admitted
he gave the maximum legal donation of $2,400 to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and
Gabrielle Giffords and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who ran
unsuccessfully for a senate seat against Rand Paul.
"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late
last night," said MSNBC President Phil Griffin in a statement Friday.
"Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him
indefinitely without pay."
Olbermann is the highest profile personality on MSNBC. He
hosts Countdown Monday through Friday
at 8 p.m. and was one of the anchors of MSNBC's election coverage Nov. 2.
Late Friday, The Progressive Campaign Change Committee,
which pushes progressive causes and candidates, announced
its launch of an online petition drive to try and get Olbermann reinstated.