The NY Post reported, Olbermann denied, and Jammie Wearing Fool follows it all.
It’s not a surprise that Olbermann would have trouble convincing staff to follow him. He’s erratic, gets fired everywhere he works, throws temper tantrums that impact all the staff of his shows, and is legendary around Washington for his awful treatment of everyone who works for or near him. He allegedly made Suzy Kolber hide in the bathroom and cry, routinely, when they were both on staff at ESPN. Stories like this make him someone you don’t want to be around:
“He’s just a full-blown, red-in-the-face screamer.” Another former MSNBC staffer notes that Olbermann refused to communicate with underlings face to face when he worked out of the network’s Secaucus operation, instead insisting that anyone who wished to get in touch with him leave him a note in a special mailbox. “His disregard for those beneath him is almost comical,” the staffer continues. “I remember he had an assistant back then named Brian whom he made go out and buy presents for other people. Brian did, with his own money, and of course Keith never reimbursed him.” Says an NBC producer who has worked with him: “He is, to put it kindly, brusque.”
When you are, to put it kindly, brusque, word gets around. Cable news on the national scale is a pretty small and very cliquish industry.
It is telling that in his own defense, Olbermann cites 12 “contributors” as evidence that he’s not having trouble attracting staff from old Countdown to the new one. In cable news lingo, contributors tend not to be staff. They’re talking heads you have on your show to talk about stuff from time to time. They’re not even always in the same room or even city with you. As for actual staff, he claims five have followed him from MSNBC to Current. Out of how many, Keith?