Olbermann, Matthews Fight for Tim Russert's Job

Friday, 20 Jun 2008 03:29 PM

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Keith Olbermann is threatening to leave MSNBC if he doesn’t land the late Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press” job on NBC, according to a source.

But he’s not the only MSNBC cable news anchor jockeying for Russert’s job — Chris Matthews is also said to have his eye on the plum position.

Matthews was heard discussing what seemed to be his strategy for landing Russert’s job when he attended Wednesday’s memorial for Russert in Washington, D.C., the New York Post’s Page Six column reported, saying Matthews “huddled with an unidentified ‘agent type’ and seemed to be plotting.”

An observer told Page Six: “Chris, with his loud voice, was going over a pitch for Tim’s job. He was saying, ‘You know, Tim’s thing was this, and my thing is that.’ It was unbelievably tacky.”

But Matthews told Page Six he doesn’t want Russert’s job and said the “agent type” was a real estate developer and they were discussing an upcoming speech by Matthews. Matthews insisted, “I swear to God that’s what happened.”

Olbermann, who was also at the memorial, is “threatening to quit if he isn’t installed as Russert’s replacement,” another insider told the Post. “I know it sounds ludicrous, but then, Keith Olbermann is ludicrous.”

A spokesman for MSNBC called the report “utterly untrue.”

Top NBC anchorman Brian Williams will host the next "Meet the Press," but the network hasn't chosen who will permanently replace Tim Russert, an NBC News spokeswoman said Thursday.

Tom Brokaw was the host on Sunday, two days after Russert died of a heart attack.

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