Keith Olbermann Makes Surprise Departure from MSNBC

Keith Olbermann Makes Surprise Departure from MSNBC

Keith Olbermann's sudden exit from MSNBC shocked his viewers.

"This is the last edition of Countdown," he said abruptly at the end of Friday night's show.

But despite the unexpected nature of the announcement, Olbermann and his bosses at MSNBC had been discussing his exit for months. One NBC boss called it "a negotiated separation" resulting from "years of behind the scenes tension, conflicts and near terminations."

"There were many occasions, particularly in the last two and a half years, where all that surrounded the show, but never the show itself, was just too much for me," Olbermann said.

Olbermann was almost fired back in November for making campaign contributions to democratic candidates, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is now recuperating from an assassination attempt.

He was only suspended for two days, but it was the beginning of the end.

As one executive described Olbermann's relationship with the network, it "had been failing for a long time."