Keith Olbermann, the top anchor on MSNBC, was suspended on Friday after the channel discovered that he had made campaign contributions to three Democrats.
The MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, issued a statement saying, “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
No one at NBC News, MSNBC’s parent, would speculate about what this might mean for Mr. Olbermann’s future, though one NBC executive suggested this was not a step toward firing him.
Chris Hayes, a writer for The Nation magazine, will host Mr. Olbermann’s program on Friday, an MSNBC spokesman said.
Politico had reported Friday morning that Mr. Olbermann’s contributions were in apparent violation of MSNBC policy.
In a statement to Politico, Mr. Olbermann had acknowledged donations of $2,400 to the campaigns of Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Attorney General Jack Conway of Kentucky, who lost his Senate race to Rand Paul.
Mr. Olbermann hosts the most popular program on MSNBC, “Countdown.” He worked at MSNBC in the late 1990s and re-joined the channel in 2003.
He has long been a volatile figure inside MSNBC, in part for his polarizing points of view. He has sometimes clashed with Mr. Griffin and other managers over editorial decisions, and he has been publicly critical of some of his former bosses.Keith Olbermann, the top anchor on MSNBC, was suspended on Friday after the channel discovered that he had made campaign contributions to three Democrats.