Anti-Olbermann website quits after MSNBC host's contract is extended
Michael Roston
Published: Friday March 2, 2007
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A website set up to counter the nightly broadcast of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has thrown in the towel after NBC Universal extended the contract of the former sports newscaster, whose nightly Countdown program has seen its ratings grow in the past year.

All links to the website Olbermann Watch now point to an "RIP" page with a short note from founder and managing editor Robert Cox.

"There is no disguising the fact that we have been extremely unhappy with the recent decision of NBC Universal to not only retain Keith Olbermann for four more years but to elevate him in an unprecedented fashion," Cox writes to readers. "After careful consideration and consultation with the entire staff, we have decided the time has come to retire"

Ironically, Cox took some responsibility for Olbermann's growing ratings.

"We have come to the conclusion that we have done more harm than good over the past 2+ years in keeping Olbermann in the public eye at a time when few were watching his show and even less cared about his assault on the journalistic standards we hold dear," Cox claimed.

A website set up to counter Cox's called Watching Olbermann Watch was dismissive of the farewell message.

"He's a bully -- an ad-man who seized upon a marketing opportunity," the blog noted. "Not an opportunity to promote a particular brand of truth or policy stance, but an opportunity to traffic in vitriol because it is that sort of poison which he discovered would be the most effective route to his own personal success."

Last month, the blog TVNewser reported that Olbermann had signed a new contract with NBC Universal that would keep his show on the air for another 4 years and offer Olbermann, who was formerly a Sportscenter anchor on ESPN, an opportunity to contribute reports to the NBC Nightly News.

Today, Radar Magazine reported that Olbermann will interview Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose outing related to the Iraq War is the subject of the federal trial against former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter Libby." The interview will occur on a stage at a People for the American Way benefit on March 17.

The Olbermann Watch "retirement: message can be accessed at this link. Watching Olbermann Watch can be accessed at this link.