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Olbermann Takes a Shot at Campbell Brown; CNN Fires Back

MSNBC host slams rival cable network, but his ratings are slipping

Keith Olbermann criticized outgoing CNN host Campbell Brown — who last month announced she was stepping aside due to poor ratings — tossing her in his "Worst Person in the World" segment on Tuesday.

"I like her,” Olbermann began. “She’s skilled at her craft but this ‘I am a Martyr to Real News Tour’ has got to stop. […] She doesn’t think the network’s problems have anything to do with hour-long specials on Mick Jagger on primary night and the ‘American Idol’ winner during the last hours of ‘Top Kill’?”

He continued: “CNN’s 8 o’clock news programs haven’t failed because they are competing with opinion and interpretative news programs. They’ve failed because CNN hasn’t figured out that everything it puts on the air is available to everybody who watches all day on the Internet, and if you don’t bring something else to the table, they aren’t going to watch. Let’s hope they don’t figure it out."

CNN quickly fired back at Olbermann and MSNBC: "By the end of the day some people may know what’s happened in the world — but that’s no thanks to MSNBC, which didn’t even bother to cover the press conference announcing that Top Kill had failed to stop the Gulf oil spill. As a news organization, CNN provides viewers both content and context to the days’ news, unlike the partisan networks."

While beating Brown, it’s worth noting Olbermann’s own ratings have been less than stellar of late. According to Nielsen, May was “Countdown”’s worst-rated month in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic this year, averaging 250,000 viewers – a 26 percent slide compared to May 2009. Olbermann’s average total viewers (just over a million) were also down about 6 percent for the month.

More to read:

Campbell Brown Quits CNN, Falls on a Sword