(From Broadcasting And Cable -- By J. Max Robins)
KEITH OLBERMANN and MSNBC are knocking heads over a new contract.
The controversial host of COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN is said to be seeking "north of $4 million"
a year, according to an industry source, to re-up on his pact that comes due in April. That would represent roughly a four-fold increase over his current deal, believed to be in the
$1 million-per-year range.
Olbermann is looking for such a big pay raise because Countdown has been on fire, playing a big part in the current audience uptick at the network.
In the key 25-54 demo, its ratings are up 25% year-to-date and an astounding 75% so far in the fourth quarter.
But MSNBC brass may have their hands tied on how much they can pony up for Olbermann.
MSNBC parent NBC UNIVERSAL has mandated $750 million worth of budget cuts across all divisions, and this is hardly a politic time to hand out a gargantuan raise.
Meanwhile, CNN may have interest.
MSNBC's Olbermann Seeks Big Raise