It’s not an unexpected move, as he had drawn very good reviews during his stints and ratings had held up well. But O’Donnell has been up front about wanting to concentrate on a Hollywood career, having been a producer and writer for “The West Wing” as well as creator of the series “Mister Sterling.”
He said in a statement, “I’ve had a part-time job at MSNBC for 14 years. Now that the network and I have gotten to know each other, I’m thrilled to be going full time.”
O’Donnell had a long career on Capitol Hill through the 80s and 90s, including a stint as senior adviser to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
MSNBC president Phil Griffin has expressed a desire for at show in the 10 p.m. slot, but said that he was in no rush to fill it given that the replay of “Countdown” actually performed well in the time period.
Update: Here’s Brian Lowry’s profile of O’Donnell from April, when he expresses a desire for a Hollywood screenwriting career, defends celebrities in politics and says that he feels like like “George Plimpton all the time” during his hosting stints.
Another update: One of his competitors will be Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, and she just signed a new contract. the New York Times reports.