By Sara Jerome - 01/23/11 08:02 PM EST
Some merger critics are sticking with the view that Comcast is responsible for the departure of anchor Keith Olbermann from MSNBC, even after reports have revealed that Olbermann's move was weeks in the making.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that Olbermann and MSNBC have been in discussions for weeks regarding his plan to leave. They came to an agreement on when he can talk to the press and when he can next host a TV show.
Nevertheless, Marvin Ammori, a professor at Nebraska Law and a former Free Press advisor, still sees Comcast's hand in the development.
Comcast got regulatory approval for its merger with MSNBC majority owner NBC Universal the same week Olbermann announced that he would leave.
Ammori said any departure with a severance would be weeks in the making, but "the merger was years in the making."
"Either Comcast 'fired' him or he saw the writing on the wall, the same way a government official might 'resign' or be 'fired' and the distinction is often without a difference," Ammori said.
Comcast issued this statement about the allegations that it was involved with Olbermann's departure:
"Comcast has not closed the transaction for NBC Universal and has no operational control at any of its properties including MSNBC. We pledged from the day the deal was announced that we would not interfere with NBC Universal’s news operations. We have not and we will not."