Friday evening’s edition of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” turned out to be the bombastic host’s last broadcast, as Olbermann announced on his show that he was leaving MSNBC effective that same day.

Variety:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract,” the network said in an announcement on Friday, but did not elaborate on a reason. Near the end of his show, Olbermann announced that his appearance would be his last.

There was immediate speculation that the top-rated Olbermann’s departure was connected to the pending takeover of NBC Universal by Comcast Corp. But MSNBC insiders strongly denied that speculation, asserting that Comcast execs had “nothing to do” with Olbermann’s departure and were informed of the decision on Tuesday after the FCC and Justice Department gave the regulatory approval to the merger of Comcast and NBC U. Discussions between Olbermann and MSNBC brass had been going on for some time, even though the anchor had at least two years to go on his existing contract.

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