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Olbermann ‘One of the Great Stars,’ Says Zucker at NATPE

Besides praising the now departed MSNBC host, outgoing NBC Universal chief also expressed optimism about future of broadcasting

Jeff Zucker, the outgoing president and CEO of NBC Universal, says now departed MSNBC host Keith Olbermann is "one of the great stars" and "an incredible talent."

Speaking to the National Association of Television Program Executives at their convention in his hometown of Miami on Monday, Zucker also said he is thinking of returning to his roots as a news and sports producer, according to widely published reports.

The soon to be ex-network executive declined to comment on the specifics of Olbermann's departure from the cable news network, which the anchor announced Friday.

And Zucker said the broadcast industry in general is in solid condition.

"I feel better about broadcasting today than I have in a long time," he said. "Obviously a few years ago the economy concerned all of us, that has come back, we are on a real upswing with regard to the advertising marketplace, both on the English and Spanish side."

Zucker made the comments during a question-and-answer session with his brother-in-law, Wall Street stock market analyst Michael Nathanson, of Nomura Securities. 

Jan. 28 is Zucker's last day at NBC Universal. He is leaving when Comcast assumes control of the company.