Barely four months ago, MSNBC nearly doubled Keith Olbemann's annual salary to $7.5 million. Now the network says Chris Matthews has re-upped without much of a raise. Ouch.

The NBC cable network refused to share salary details with the New York Times, save for the most humiliating one: Matthews is still making more or less $5 million per year. In October that would have been 25 percent more than Olbermann made. Now it's roughly 33 percent less.

One executive involved in the negotiations said, “Whether he took a slight cut or got a slight raise, it’s nobody’s business.”

It is apparently everyone's business that Matthews will be around through the next presidential election, so that his famously accurate leg can call the results, months in advance.

Matthews' flirtation with running for the U.S. Senate didn't help him at all in salary talks. That much has been apparent since at least December, when the Hardball host announced he would definitely not run for office, thus losing any leverage he might have once had.

At least his ratings are up. Not Rachel Maddow "up," mind you, or Keith's Very Special Once In A Lifetime Comment "up," but up.

[NY Times]