Olbermann out at MSNBC

The clock's run out on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," which apparently came to an unexpected end with tonight's show.

The NBC-owned cable news network issued the following not very revealing statement:

"MSNBC and Keith Olbermann ahve ended their contract. The last broadcast of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

Starting Monday, "The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell" will move in to Olbermann's 8 p.m. timeslot, and "The Ed Show," hosted by Ed Schultz, will replace O'Donnell at 10. (Rachel Maddow stays put.)

In November, MSNBC suspended Olbermann briefly after learning that he had contributed to Democratic campaigns, a violation of the network's rules.

Comcast, meanwhile, this week cleared the final regulatory hurdles for its takeover of NBC.

 Olbermann, who formerly worked as an anchor for ESPN's "Sports Center" and for Fox Sports Net, has hosted "Countdown" since 2003.