updated 1/22/2011 11:52:51 PM ET 2011-01-23T04:52:51

STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN: MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors. (January 21, 2011)

Keith Olbermann was the host of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.” “Countdown,” a unique newscast that counted down the day’s top stories with Keith’s particular wit and style, telecast weeknights on msnbc.

Olbermann began his career with NBC in 1997, when he was anchor for NBC Sports, hosting the World Series and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, and contributing to pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl. During that time he was also host of two primetime news programs on msnbc, “The Big Show,” and “White House In Crisis.” 

Olbermann returned to msnbc in 2003 as a substitute host on “Nachman” and an anchor for msnbc’s coverage of the war in Iraq before launching “Countdown” in April of 2003. Previously, Olbermann provided twice-daily commentary, “Speaking of Sports,” for ABC Radio Network.  Prior to that, he was a regular contributor on CNN.

Olbermann may be best known for anchoring ESPN’s “SportsCenter” from 1992 to 1997, when his inimitable style made the blend of pop culture and sports a hallmark of the modern television sports reporter.  While at ESPN, Olbermann helped launch ESPN2 and ESPN Radio network, and wrote the critically acclaimed book “The Big Show” about his experiences working on “SportsCenter.”


Olbermann is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards in radio and television broadcasting, including the 1995 Cable Ace Award for Best Sportscaster, 11 Golden Mike Awards for excellence in television and radio, and four Sports Emmy Awards.  Olbermann also received an Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the events of 9/11.

In addition to his extensive broadcasting experience, Olbermann has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated and Playboy.  His first book, “The Major League Coaches,” was published when he was 14. Olbermann received a bachelor’s of science degree in communications arts from Cornell University.  He lives in New York City.

Video: Keith Olbermann signs off

  1. Closed captioning of: Keith Olbermann signs off

    >>> i think the same fantasy popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what i have been told. this will be the last edition of your show. you go to the scene from the movie network complete with the pajamas and the rain coat and go off on a verbal journey of unutterable vision and you insist upon peter finch 's gutteral resonance and you will the viewer to go to the window, open it, stick out his head and yell. you know the rest. in the mundane world of television goodbyes, reality is laughably uncooperative. when i resigned from espn 13 1/2 years ago, i was given 30 seconds to say goodbye at the end of my last edition of sports center . with god as my witness, in the commercial break before the moment, the producer got into my earpiece and said can you cut it down to 15 seconds so we can get in the tennis result? i'm grateful that i have more time to sign off here. regardless, this is the last edition of countdown. it is just under 8 years since i returned to msnbc. i was supposed to fill in for exactly three days. 49 days later, there was a-year contract for me to return to this 8:00 time slot that i fled years earlier. the show established its position as anti-establishment with the stage craft of mission accomplished to the exaggerated rescue of jessica lynch in iraq to the death of pat tillman to hurricane katrina to the nexus of politics and terror to the first special comment. the program and grew entirely to your support and great comments if are me. i hope for you too. there were many occasions where all that surrounded the show and never the show itself was too much for me. with your support and loyalty if i may use the word insistence required that i keep going. my gratitude to you is boundless and you think i have done good here, imagine how it looked as you donated $2 million to the national association of free clinics and my dying father watched from his hospital bed and comforted that his struggles were inspiring such good for people, he and i and you would never meet, but would always know. this may be the only television program where in the host the much more in awe of the audience than vice-versa. we will also be in my heart for that and the donations to the family in tennessee and these victims of governmental heartlessness in arizona to say nothing of every letter and tweet and wave and hand shake and online petition . time ebbs here and top the close with more story. it is still friday. let me thank my gifted staff and a few of the many people who fought with me and for me. eric sorenson, neal shapiro , michael weiss . david bloom , john palmer , alana russo. rachel maddow and bob costas and my greatest protector, the late tim russert . let me