Keith Olbermann stays with MSNBC

'Countdown' host signs four-year deal

MSNBC yakker Keith Olbermann has reupped with the cabler in a four-year deal.

Olbermann will continue as host of his primetime show “Countdown” but will also play “a prominent role in MSNBC’s coverage of all major news events,” the net announced Monday. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Olbermann anchored news coverage of the primaries but was eventually shifted, along with fellow talker Chris Matthews, to a role providing analysis and commentary.

Olbermann, originally a sportscaster, will also hold onto his spot as co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America.”

Terms were not disclosed, and Olbermann’s agent, Jean Sage of TV Talent, declined to comment except to confirm that her client did indeed get “more money.” He also got more vacation time, “and he’s taking some vacation starting next week,” Sage said.

The New York Times reported on its website Monday afternoon that the deal was worth $7.5 million a year for Olbermann. “That’s in the ballpark,” an industry source told Daily Variety. If accurate, that figure would make Olbermann the highest-paid host on MSNBC.

“Keith Olbermann is at the core of MSNBC’s current success,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement.

“I’m delighted that we can continue to lock ‘Countdown’ into the nation’s political dialogue through at least the next election,” Olbermann said.

According to the net, “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” had its best month ever in October in the key adults 25-54 demographic, and it’s up 170% in adults 25-54 from October 2007 and up 180% in total viewers.

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