Throwback Thursday: Team MSNBC vs. Team Olbermann

Screen+shot+2010-11-15+at+7.13.08+AMThe Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz goes behind the scenes at MSNBC, detailing the fight between Team Suits and Team Olbermann–although as Kurtz makes clear, there’s no real “team” Olbermann; Keith Olbermann is mostly in this by himself. Him and his ego.

Best quote: MSNBC “chief” Phil Griffin to Michael Price, Olbermann’s manager, in the middle of the suspension dissension: “We are at war.” If so, it was a war that Olbermann won decisively, and that MSNBC lost–to wit, Olbermann returning in triumph to his show last Tuesday, declaring, “If I had known this would happen–I would have done this years ago.” And so Olby further reminded us that Griffin has been emasculated, more than once (if that’s possible, and in Griffin’s case, it is).

And yet after reviewing the corporate infighting, Kurtz concludes his piece with these grafs, suggesting that Comcast will handle the situation differently, reminding us that Olbermann is a hothead, and that the new lefty MSNBC might well do well enough even without KO:

What’s more, the incoming bosses at Comcast, which will soon close a deal to buy NBC from General Electric, are a more buttoned-down crowd, and people at the network expect less tolerance for Olbermann than Zucker has shown over the years.

Olbermann quit MSNBC once before, in 1998, after openly criticizing his bosses. He is, today, a far bigger star. Management doesn’t want to turn him into a martyr, but no one will be shocked if he winds up leaving again.

On one point, all sides seem to agree: With the notable exception of Maddow, his onetime protégé, Olbermann has no major allies left at 30 Rock. And that, given his history of crusading against authority, may be how he likes it.

Indeed, as we read the whole Kurtz article, it’s hard to see how any organization could function amidst this degree of backstabbing, leaking, and Tweeting. Who is going to say anything about anything, knowing that it will all come spilling out? So The Cable Gamer continues to think that Olbermann is not long for the MSNBC world.

Reposted from The Cable Game, 15 November 2010


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