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3 Doors Down: Where Do People Like Keith Olbermann Go After a 3rd Firing?

Talented people who don't suffer fools well in your organization.  They can't keep their mouth shut even a little bit and get along, and over a relatively short period of time they wear out their welcome in your organization.  Eventually, you have to fire them.  They got voted off the island.  The people have spoken, everyone wants them out, regardless of their obvious talent.

But where do those talented people go once they've run through all the companies in the industry and Keith-olbermann2 people realize that they think everyone is an idiot?

Keith Olbermann is one of those talented people.  He's now been fired (or got out of Dodge right before the posse got to to town) at ESPN, MSNBC and now, Current TV.  

Where's someone like that go now?  More from The Atlantic:

"The New York Times's Brian Stelter reported Friday that Current TV has dismissed cable news host Keith Olbermann after he moved there just over a year ago from MSNBC, and the break-up does not sound amicable. In a statement, Current TV writes:

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers.   Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

That might only be big news in itself if you're an Olbermann follower, though if you are, it'll come as no surprise. Olbermann has publicly sparred with his network a lot over the past few months. But of course, no story on Olbermann goes without his own enthusiastic take on it, and we expect fireworks will make this interesting."

Where do people like Olbermann go?   Eventually, he's got to work for himself, for the following 3 reasons:

1. He's running out of people/companies to take the risk.

2. No one is going to do it like he'll do it, so it makes sense that he needs to be on his own.

3. For all the bluster and broken relationships, there's still a market for his services.  

Olbermann is like the talented, combustive executive who can't stand fools (in his or her eyes) or any type of red tape or slow decision-making process at your company.  Like Olbermann, that person does great work, but has now been through 3 or 4 major companies in their industry.  There's not a lot of other places to go.

So that person, like Olbermann, needs to go work for himself.  There'll be a market for his services.  He'll take some business from you.

The problem is that not all of these types of people want to run their own business.  

Want to help someone like this?  Be a coach for them.  Let them know what's coming, and if bootstrapping their own small business from scratch isn't their thing, show them what the end looks like.  

If they don't like it, help outline what they need to change to avoid being alone at the end.


David Manaster

Olbermann's problem isn't that he is so difficult to work with -- as his last three employers have shown, hollywood is willing to put up with endless egotistical headaches and diva-like behavior from their stars as long as they deliver ratings.

Unfortunately for Olbermann, he was not able to deliver for Current - he never brought his viewers from MSNBC over with him. And that's why he is going to have trouble finding the next gig on his terms.

Karen K

You could give him a copy of the No Asshole Rule, but he'd likely never connect the dots.


Ahhhhh Yes: We must contrast those nasty angry egotistic Liberal commentators (like Keith Olbermann) with.....the quiet ,humble, self-effacing, ego-less, almost Budda-like qualities of Conservative commentators.....who, no doubt, bicycle to work, so that they might not offend THEIR limo drivers. Chill out Right Wingers, and just take two more Viagras. But do me a favor- and DON'T call me in the morning :-). The real question we should be asking is : Did CurrentTV simply USE Keith to gain attention and higher ratings? They KNEW what they were getting! Did they lure him with big bucks, and then drop him when they were done? Yes, we all know that Keith injects emotion and passion into his commentary, into his intelligent and incisive reporting, and into his humor....all of which makes his program interesting, as well as informative. He's forceful, honest, and direct: you FEEL his pain, you FEEL his anger, and you FEEL his heart-felt sincerity when he covers a story. And he covers it well. He's NEVER just another talking head! If Keith is absent from CurrentTV, then I too will be absent from CurrentTV. For Keith is one of the best - hands down- as evidenced by his outstanding coverage of OWS during the past year. I wish him well, and hope that he is back on the air soon. We need his unique voice and viewpoint!

Jonathan Merrill

Talented? You must be joking. This is a very straight forward case of an employee not showing up to work. His contributions to CurrentTV was "needs improvement". The last thing anyone should do is lament for people like Mr. Olbermann. He is an example of irresponsibile people HR has to deal with by not showing up to work and low job performance. Take the politics out of this and it's a straight forward "low performer" situation. Especially with how much money CurrentTV paid him. Shameful.

Doug Dean

Olbermann is just too unhinged as a commentator for what most networks are programming. But I think KD's central point here was the risk involved - for both company and job candidate - when the "talent" has become radioactive through multiple failed recycle attempts.

Candy Gray

Regardless of "viewpoints" - anyone who has worked in entertainment understands and has probably lived through this situation. The rules just don't apply to the "talent." If they did, his know history of employment issues would have kept Current from hiring him. It's the entertainment world's "Dirty Little Secret", that's not so little and not so secret - just ask Lindsay Lohan, et al.

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