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Keith Olbermann: 'Final MSNBC years tenuous'

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TV presenter Keith Olbermann

© PA Images / LANDOV

Keith Olbermann has revealed that his relationship with his former MSNBC bosses crumbled after the sudden death of friend Tim Russert.

Russert hosted political programme Meet the Press for NBC for 17 years before suddenly passing away after suffering a heart attack in 2008.

Without one of his only allies at NBC advocating on his behalf, Olbermann began to face increased pressure from network executives, he told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Countdown host further explained: "Tim knew how to play them. He managed to do that with every faction, with every complaint from the Republican side, with every complaint from the Democratic side, with every complaint from a staffer.

"He knew how to turn it into a conversation that ended in laughter. Tim, for the noblest of causes, could bulls**t very well. And I admired him for it. It seems to sap my creative voice."

Olbermann abruptly left the cable channel in January, eventually signing a new deal to move his Countdown series to Current TV.

Since his MSNBC exit, the journalist has not spoken to another of his close friends, Rachel Maddow, who he initially recommended to host a nightly newscast for the channel.

Olbermann said: "There were lots of people who were forced to choose sides. And particularly in Rachel's case, I didn't want to add to the pressure on her already."

Countdown with Keith Olbermann debuts on Current TV on June 20.

> Keith Olbermann enlists Moore, Burns for series

Watch Keith Olbermann discuss his goals for Countdown below:

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