Keith Olbermann attends the NBC Universal Summer press tour in Beverly Hills
Keith Olbermann says management at progressive news network Current TV turned his program into an "unprofessional cable-access show." REUTERS

Keith Olbermann has announced his exit from the show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermaan” after eight years on MSNBC.

A statement from MSNBC came on as the show was on, MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

MSNBC also announced that The Last Word” with Lawrence O'Donnell would be taking over the 8 p.m. slot from Monday, with Ed Schultz's The Ed Show replacing The Last Word at 10. Rachel Maddow will remain at 9 p.m.

One of the reasons for Keith’s abrupt departure from the show may be his suspension in November for two days for making political donations to three candidates including Gabriella Gifford, who was shot at on January 8. NBC policy prohibits such donations without prior clearance.

It is also believed that NBC’s takeover by Comcast, the cable and internet giant, may have hastened his departure.
Keith is well known for his left-leanings.

The program regularly attracts more than 1 million viewers, making it the network's most popular show. He signed a four-year contract reportedly for $30 million in 2009 with the network.
This is the second time Olbermann has left MSNBC. In 1998, he left protesting against the show’s almost exclusive coverage of the Monica Lewsinsky scandal. He rejoined in 2003

Olbermann did not announce any future professional plans on Friday night. In his farewell note he thanked several people including the late NBC anchor, Tim Russert, he did not mention any of his bosses-Paul Griffin or Steve Capus.

It remains to be seen where will Keith go next. Networks are always wary of hiring a person with his well known political leanings. Fox already has its share of fiery personalities , which leaves CNN in the big channels market and their leanings are different.