MSNBC Boots Olbermann, Matthews From Anchor Chairs

David Gregory will host election coverage
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 5:27 AM CDT
In this July 22, 2006 file photo, Keith Olbermann, host of "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," talks about his show at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif.    (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, file)
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(Newser) – After months of criticism and pointed derision at the Republican convention, MSNBC will yank Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from the anchor seats during this fall's debates and election. NBC News correspondent David Gregory will host election coverage, while Olbermann and Matthews remain as commentators. Ratings at the struggling network have been up, but critics of the network have questioned its more partisan coverage.

Olbermann, whose program Countdown was recently renewed through 2013, has faced the most criticism for his blurring of news and commentary. But in a media environment dominated by Fox News, whose partisanship has given it the highest ratings of any 24-hour news network, some at MSNBC said the perceived leftward shift still made sense. "The bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success," said MSNBC's president.