Keith Olbermann leaving MSNBC, ends `Countdown'

This photo of MSNBC on air personality Keith Olberman was provided by MSNBC(AP Photo//MSNBC,Craig Blankenhorn)

January 21, 2011 9:49:20 PM PST
Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC and has announced that Friday's "Countdown" show will be his last.

MSNBC issued a statement Friday that it had ended its contract with the the controversial host, with no further explanation. Olbermann hosted the network's top-rated show, but his combative liberal opinions often made him a target of critics.

Olbermann did not say why he was leaving.

He was suspended without pay from the network for two days in November for donating to three Democratic candidates, which violated NBC News' policy on political donations. Olbermann complained that he was being punished for mistakenly violating an inconsistently applied rule that he had known nothing about.

The host apologized to fans -- but not to the network.