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Rachel Maddow Extends MSNBC Contract Through 2012 Election and Beyond (Update)

Host hasn’t talked to Olbermann since he left MSNBC

Rachel Maddow has extended her MSNBC contract and will stay with the network through the 2012 election and well beyond.

Keith Olbermann, who left the network in January, has said in the past how much he would like to work with Maddow again, leading to speculation that he could lure her to his new home, Current TV. But Maddow says she is happy where she is.

"Keith and I haven't talked at all since he left MSNBC," Maddow told TheWrap at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, where the contract renewal was announced. "I still consider him to be a friend. He's been busy starting a new TV network and I've been busy doing TV every night at MSNBC."

Maddow was given her own show after successfully filling in for Olbermann when he hosted MSNBC's "Countdown."

Maddow said the terms of her deal with MSNBC will remain largely unchanged. She described it as a "multi-year" deal but declined to say when it would end.

In the first half of 2011, "The Rachel Maddow Show" averaged 1,046,000 total viewers, behind Fox News' "Hannity" but ahead of CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight." It also had 305,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. Maddow earned MSNBC's biggest audiences in the 9 p.m. hour since the first quarter of 2009.

"Ratings are an important measure of whether what we're doing is connecting with a lot of people," Maddow said. "But mostly what I'm trying to do everyday is do work that I'm proud of. … We're trying to incease the amount of useful information in the world." 

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