MSNBC needs a boost in primetime. Keith Olbermann is out of a job after his contract expired at ESPN. It is being reported that NBC News President Andrew Lack might be interested in bringing Olbermann back to MSNBC.
An article in The Wrap on the changes that NBC News President Andrew Lack is making contained an interesting nugget:
Aside from Turness, Lack might be indirectly trying to resurrect another career-in MSNBC primetime. Although there has been no confirmation of direct talks between Keith Olbermann and Lack about a possible return, it’s not out of the question.
“Phil isn’t talking to him, but someone else might be,” the insider told TheWrap, pointing out that like in many tense negotiations, a middleman not directly part of NBC News-MSNBC’s chain of command could be putting out feelers to Olbermann.
The bad blood between Griffin and Olbermann, which dates back to his messy exit in 2011, might still cast clouds over a possible return. But it’s certainly not be a deal breaker.
“Phil might say over my dead body, but Andy doesn’t have those issues,” the insider said.
An Olbermann return would require that MSNBC boss Phil Griffin be shown the door. Frankly, it is impossible to see Olbermann ever returning to the network if Griffin is still around, but there are roughly a thousand reasons for Griffin to be fired. The chief among them being the fact that he has managed to take a profitable and growing cable network and turn it into a raging tire fire.
MSNBC is a mess, and Phil Griffin is the reason the network is in such bad shape. Griffin and his team have made a series of horrible decisions that have pushed MSNBC’s audience away. A reunion of the Olbermann/Maddow block would push MSNBC ahead of CNN in the ratings. MSNBC viewers would quickly forgive the network for replacing Ed Schultz with Chuck Todd at 5 PM if the network brought back Keith Olbermann at 8 PM.
There are not many top notch broadcasters who could come in and fix MSNBC primetime. Olbermann would be a quick fix for two of the biggest problems at the network. MSNBC needs to undo the Chris Hayes disaster and find another star to pair with Maddow. Olbermann would solve both of these problems.
The odds that Olbermann returns as long as the current leadership regime is in place at MSNBC are long, but the fact that NBC News would consider it suggests that the door is open for the return of the biggest star in MSNBC history.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association