Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC. According to the Los Angeles Times, Olbermann’s leaving has nothing to do with the upcoming Comcast merger; this is based upon an MSNBC email announcement. Others say differently. TMZ reports that, “Sources connected with the network tell us … Comcast honchos did not like Keith’s defiance and the way he played in the sandbox.” If this is a case, it is a huge mistake. Olbermann is MSNBC. He is the reason that MSNBC has turned around over the last several years. I really like Lawrence O’Donnell, but If MSNBC really thinks that O’Donnell can fill Olbermann’s shoes, they are crazy. People watch MSNBC because of Olbermann; they watch O’Donnell, Ed Schultz, and yes, even Rachel Maddow because of him. If Olbermann moves to CNN, his viewers will move with him. Bottom line: this was a stupid move on MSNBC’s part. They should have done everything possible to make Olbermann happy. And if they are happy about his departure, it only goes to show that highly-paid executives owe their jobs to something other than intelligence and competance. MSNBC is a brand only in so far as Olbermann is a brand. Good-bye MSNBC! Maybe if you ask real nice, Phil Donahue will come back.