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September 11, 2006

Aw, bugger
Posted by Teresa at 10:32 PM * 9 comments

Eric Alterman’s been fired by MSNBC. He’s going over to MediaMatters.

Comments on Aw, bugger:
#1 ::: mcc ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2006, 11:14 PM:

It's a little bit hard to tell from the text-- was he fired *because* of this column?

#2 ::: Dave MB ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2006, 11:32 PM:

He says in the text that he reads reports and hears rumors that it's a political decision by GE/NBC, but has no way of knowing whether it's true because he's never had input from above about it. He sort of has to have been fired because of the column, I think, because the column was what he was doing for them.

If there are limits to how much dissent GE/NBC/MSNBC is willing to sponsor, our new hero Keith Olberman is doing a good job of testing them. Of course his ratings are up, and perhaps either Alterman was not making much money for them or there was little way to measure what he was making.

#3 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: September 11, 2006, 11:42 PM:

Glenn Reynolds was supposedly fired, too.

#5 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 03:02 AM:

Both of those guys? At the same time? That's odd. Presumably they're not huge payroll expenses to MSNBC.

Wasn't there some news a while back that Microsoft was bailing out of the collaboration? I wonder if that has something to do with it (if my memory is right and that's accurate).

#6 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 03:07 AM:

Hmm. I'm not quite right. Here's a January '06 Broadcasting and Cable story about NBC buying out Microsoft's stake in the TV part of MSNBC, but it says the dotcom portion of the partnership is doing well. Neither Reynolds nor Alterman had shows on the network (now there's a dreadful thought: Glenn Reynolds on your TV every afternoon for an hour), so the buyout shouldn't have had an impact on their web columns.

#7 ::: Rasselas ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 11:17 AM:

Maybe his prediliction for being addressed as "Dr." offended GE's sensibilities.

#8 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 08:40 PM:

And on the other side, Michael Gerson is going to be a new op-ed columnist for the WashPost. The man who wrote some of Bush's "best" speeches will now be in the newspaper.

#9 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: September 12, 2006, 09:53 PM:

I wouldn't read anything political into this right now. I have a background in broadcasting, and TPB can come up with the most idiotic reasons for letting people go. It may be money, or it may be that some executive had a bad lobster at lunch. I've seen more WTF-type reasons than that.

Often things like this fall under the umbrella of "time for a change." I didn't always agree with either of those guys, but they made for interesting reading.

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