MSNBC has voted for four more years of Keith Olbermann and the top-rated "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," it was announced today by Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC. The new four-year agreement calls for Olbermann to continue as host of "Countdown;" additionally, Olbermann will play a prominent role in MSNBC's coverage of all major news events. He will also continue to co-host NBC's "Football Night in America" studio show.
"Keith Olbermann is at the core of MSNBC's current success," said Griffin. "'Countdown' is our signature program and I'm thrilled that we're going to be able to bring it to Keith's loyal viewers for another four year term.”
"I'm delighted that we can continue to lock Countdown into the nation's political dialogue through at least the next election," said Olbermann. "Personally, I noticed that as of about six weeks ago, I'd been doing this show longer than I did SportsCenter, so it's delightful to have a true home.”
In October 2008, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" had its best month ever in the key Adults 25-54 demographic, and is up a tremendous 170 percent in A25-54 from Oct. 2007 and up 180 percent in total viewers. "Countdown" continued its dominance over CNN at 8 p.m., out-rating "Campbell Brown"by 35 percent in A25-54 and 41 percent in total viewers. Excluding coverage of the presidential debates, "Countdown"is the #3 top-rated show in cable news in A25-54. "Countdown"is also the #1 cable news show among young viewers, Adults 18-34.
Since the last presidential election in 2004, "Countdown" has seen dramatic ratings increases, up a huge 238 percent among Adults 25-54 and 206 percent in total viewers.
Olbermann, who was named one of the Top Ten Most Powerful People in TV News for 2007 and 2008 by Television Week, began his NBC career 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" and "Speaking of Everything" for ABC Radio Network. Prior to that, he was a regular contributor covering news and sports on CNN.
Olbermann is well 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" with Dan Patrick about his experiences working on "SportsCenter.”
He is the recipient of numerous distinguished awards in radio and television broadcasting, including the 1995 Cable Ace Award for Best Sportscaster and 11 Golden Mike Awards for excellence in television and radio. Olbermann also received two Edward R. Murrow Awards, one for his coverage of the events of 9/11 and another for the anniversary coverage 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. His latest book, "Truth & Consequences," a collection of his "Special Comments"from "Countdown,"is a New York Times best-seller. He also published "The Worst Person in the World,"based on the popular segment within "Countdown."
Phil Griffin is President, MSNBC. Izzy Povich is the Executive Producer, "Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”