MSNBC has suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely and without pay for making campaign contribution to three Democratic candidates in this year’s midterm elections.
According to a report by Politico, Olbermann gave the maximum $2,400 to Democratic House Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway, all of whom had previously appeared on ‘Countdown.’
“I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement. MSNBC anchors are not barred from making contributions to political candidates, but the company’s policy states that donations must first be cleared with network management.
This is a fairly stunning development, as Olbermann is probably the most recognizable face at MSNBC, and is featured prominently in the cable station’s new “Lean Forward” re-branding campaign.
Olbermann, who’s clashed with management throughout his long and varied broadcast career, has been the host of ‘Countdown’ since 2003.
Speaking to the New York Times, one NBC executive denied this was a step toward firing the 51-year old anchor.