Keith Olbermann Lobbied MSNBC to Have Him Replace Chris Hayes: ‘Your 8 p.m. Show Is Dying of Thirst During a Flood’
Keith Olbermann reportedly lobbied hard for another stint at MSNBC in recent years and wanted to return to the network at the expense of Chris Hayes.
The Daily Beast reported Monday that Olbermann politicked for a gig filling in for Rachel Maddow during her hiatus. She used her veto power to keep him away.
The far-left Twitter personality appeared to confirm the report on Twitter:
According to Puck News, the thrice fired face of three different TV networks was in talks with NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell for another round at MSNBC.
Per Puck’s Dylan Byers, Olbermann really wanted Hayes’ time slot, which he said was dragging down MSNBC in primetime.
After using his relationship with Shell to establish a line of communication during former President Donald Trump’s term, Olbermann lobbied for a job.
An email exchange between the pair began in December of 2019. On Feb. 25, 2020, a dinner between them was scheduled for April of 2020.
Two days later, on February 27, Olbermann sent Shell a lengthy, unsolicited email offering his thoughts on the challenges that MSNBC faced and the opportunities the network had to boost ratings and generate more revenue
In a roughly 5,000-word dissertation-style email, complete with attached appendices demonstrating his research, Olbermann laid out a detailed and acerbic diagnosis of the cable news landscape and MSNBC’s troubles. He noted, for instance, that while Maddow’s ratings in the coveted 25-to-54 year-old demo were up 81percent from 2010, ratings for Chris Hayes’ show at 8 p.m.—Olbermann’s former time slot—were only up 3 percent. “There’s only one conclusion to be drawn: MSNBC is woefully underperforming in prime time,” he wrote. “And, while it is hidden by the amount of money [The Rachel Maddow Show] makes for you, the current 8 p.m. hour is the cause.”
Olbermann reportedly said, “Your 8 p.m. show is dying of thirst during a flood.”
Indeed, Hayes’ show is not a magnet for viewers, overall or in the key demo, even now.
All In is routinely wedged in between AC360 on CNN and Stinchfield on Newsmax TV.
Despite this reality, Olbermann’s dreams for another run at MSNBC were dashed. Olbermann would not unseat Hayes, even as his numbers dragged the network down.
Olbermann and MSNBC never reconciled. That was in spite of an email he sent to Shell last year in which he blasted CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon for making their shows “about themselves.”
“I’d like to bury them for you. And for mankind,” Olbermann said.
Olbermann told Puck News on Wednesday he is “disappointed” in Shell.
“The Jeff Shell I knew had courage and wasn’t bullied by people who depended on him for a paycheck,” Olbermann said. “I understand it’s a huge company, but he did involve himself in this and there was never anything but encouragement from him about bringing me back to the network. And this attempt to gaslight everybody is not only beneath a major communications company like NBC and its chairman, but it’s not even been done very well. Especially when I have an endless supply of receipts.”