Official: Olbermann joining Al Gore's Current TV

Image Credit: Virginia Sherwood/AP Images; Paul Drinkwater/AP Images

Can Keith Olbermann finally convince viewers to watch Al Gore’s struggling cable network?

Olbermann will launch a new nightly primetime news and commentary show later this year on the net, which is currently in 60 million U.S. households. The pundit is exuberantly described in the official Current press release as an “acclaimed broadcaster and writer whose verbal pyrotechnics and moral passion have outraged, informed, and dazzled viewers of Countdown With Keith Olbermann for the past eight years” who is “bringing his slashing wit, analytical eye, and distinctive commentary” to the network.

“Nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference,” said Olbermann, who will also serve as the network’s “Chief News Officer” and will have an equity stake in the company. “In Current Media, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have created the model truth-seeking entity.”

In a conference call with reporters, Olbermann added: “None of this should be directed at my nine full-time previous employers — there is nothing wrong with people making money and corporations being involved in covering information –  provided there is an avenue in which those marketing forces are not the deciding factor in what we are doing. Current is not only the leading independent network, it’s the only one. To underscore and support that is my great privilege.”

Asked by a reporter to elaborate on how he was stifled at previous jobs, Olbermann said, “I don’t want to imply that there were massive repressive forces working against individual stories. This is the time for me in my career to continue to evolve, to continue to do a better job, and what is required is an opportunity to work in a much more pristine environment. Not to criticize what is being done elsewhere.”

Olbermann said there’s at least one thing from Countdown that he’d like to revive on his new, yet-to-be-named show. Will it be “Worst Person in the World?” “There may be a segment that resembles that in structure and in tone, but it won’t be called the ‘Worst Person in the World,’” he said. However busy he’ll be with the new gig, Olbermann seemed to leave open the possibility that he would be willing to consult on Aaron Sorkin’s HBO pilot about a cable news network show.

“Aaron called me up and asked me about it two years ago. Of course, he also called me up the first time to talk about a sports show. Did that ever get on the air?” Olbermann said, laughing. “Not to dismiss his work, I love him to death, but that would be a hobby, a sidebar kind of thing.” He stressed that he wouldn’t do such a writing gig fulltime.

Current TV co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt indicated that hiring Olbermann is the first step in a plan to build a primetime commentary block on the network, a move that presumably will make it more competitive with the major cable news networks. Current TV can use all the help it can get — ratings are so modest they’re not even ranked in Nielsen’s daily cable charts (they receive private monthly ratings reports direct from Nielsen, but these are not made available to ratings subscribers). Gore insisted during the teleconference that Current is profitable.

“Olbermann signature is intelligent commentary. He is truly one of the unfettered voices on TV,” Gore told reporters. “Keith is one of those rare voices, his voice is truly unique. We’re delighted to provide Keith with the independent platform. Current is the perfect home for Keith.”

Asked about Olbermann getting suspended from MSNBC over political donations, Gore made it clear that such contributions won’t be a problem at Current TV — as long as the host is transparent about it: “We believe at Current that every citizen has the freedom of speech and freedom of speech includes the ability to donate to candidates of your choice. But as a news and information organization, we also believe in full disclosure of that to inform the viewers.”

In a statement released earlier in the day, Hyatt had this to say about their newest asset: “Keith Olbermann is one of our society’s most courageous talents. He speaks truth to power. He calls them as he sees them. He speaks his mind. Our society needs his kind of thoughtful analysis and commentary. Keith Olbermann is not afraid of dissenters. In his long and impressive career, he has developed a massive following of intelligent, informed people who enjoy a good debate and smart conversation. We welcome Keith and we also look forward to welcoming his fans as new Current TV viewers.”

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  • Bella

    Nobody watched Olbermann’s show when it was on MSNBC. It had extremely low ratings. They’re dreaming if they think people will follow it to Current TV. They may watch the first episode or two out of curiousity an then that will be it.

    • Rusty

      Bella,
      Go back under your Fox rock….

      • Wanda

        Kieth was the ONLY program I recoreded every weekday for a year, and have 3 friends that want to find out where he will be next.
        Rusty is good name for NewCorp FOLLOWERS.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Wow, this assault from both the right AND the left is pathetic. Just because people aren’t kissing Olberman’s ass doesn’t mean they’ve been “brainwashed by Glenn Beck”. The left is just as ignorant, self-centered, and stubbornly arrogant as the right, except that those on the left constantly tout themselves as “better and more intelligent than the right-wing nutjobs, those heartless, zombie bastards”. Give it a break already, the left is just as brainwashed and biased! Olberman and Beck are both bringing about the downfall of this great nation; we all need to stop being so extremely partisan and find a middle ground, or we’re going to implode. United we stand, divided we fall b*tches. We’re going to have to put our differences aside and deal with it.

    • dhue9

      You can bet your last dollar that I will definitely watch. I resolved to turn Fox off last year and missed the Superbowl but i won’t miss.. Olbermann! Rush, oh i’m sorry. Beck or is that BSella.. lol

    • jim

      That’s just stupid Bella. Of course lots of folks watched Keith, including me. Keith pulled MSNBC from obscurity to beat CNN in the ratings. I already enjoy “this American Life” on current Tv so it’s an easy switch for me. Can’t wait.

    • GWPDA

      Bella – you’re quite wrong.

    • Chris

      While he had very low ratings on MSNBC, Current TV would die for those rating.

    • The Truth

      @Bella. Simply not true. To say the show had extremely low ratings is just false. It was the highest rated and most successful program in the history of MSNBC. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts.

      • JS

        Having the highest ratings on a nothing network may be factually correct, but still a joke. Keith will carry a small portion of his pinko zombies to CTV, but most people don’t even know the channel exists.

      • Tarc

        All fictional shows have better ratings than the actual news.

      • Vieteravet

        Fox beat him every time, Good luck on the left-wing loon channel.

    • Kathy

      Think again Bella. Keith was a highly respected man and viewers loved him. And MSNBC’s ratings were great with him there. He will do well at Current too. Except it Bella. You are so wrong.

      • Kathy

        Some of you people are so brainwashed by FOX NEWS. Why can’t you think for yourselves? Must be terrible to not be able to see the real truth and to listen to all the lies that the other channels tell.

      • DJ

        OMG What a ninny, are you blond???

        Just think Mr. Al Gore is the beneficiary of $500,000 in Occidential Oil, everytime the oil goes up the Gores get richer. No wonder he wants gas to be $5.00 a gallon. His family is married into the Hammer family one of the most notorious Communists in history. His father Al Senior was in the hip pocket of Mr. Hammer and Hammer was quoted as saying so. The FBI had Hammer on a list of Russian Agents during the cold war. Now dear old Al is the CEO of the Carbon Emissions Trading Compant based in Chicago. Some of thier associates are Barak Obama, Bill and Hiliary and the CEO of Freddie Mac. Idiot you are being fleeced by both side now and they are getting you to roll over so they can getinto the other pocket.

    • cindy

      Pull your head out of the sand and take a good look around.

    • cecilia

      you are so very devoid of the facts – go check the ratings then go turn on Faux News

      • Kathy

        Haha, exactly Cecilia. You got that one right. FAUX News. FAKE, Fake, Fake. They dont get the facts before they speak. And people believe everything they say without checking for themselves.

    • Interesting Math

      Bella- Where did you learn your math? You say NOBODY watched Keith (nobody=0), yet you say he had low ratings. Having ratings at all means people were watching. (people= more than 0). Olbermann, I can assure, is better at math than you are.

    • brian

      Bella grasp your head it is ringing out of control from being struck by the fox stupid stick.

    • SandyU

      Bella – NOT. All of the intelligent and informed people I know watched Keith O on MSNBC. And, they’ll watch him on Current, too. I know I will.

    • Joey

      I won’t watch Keith for the same reason I don’t watch Hannity or listen to Rush. Bias News! You spend an additional hour after the program researching the truth. Keith is going to push his left agenda the same way Rush pushes the agenda on the Right. Take Rush, he backed George W when “W” had his veto pen shoved up his blankety-blank. George W was the farthest thing from being fiscally conservative, but Rush was his biggest chearleader during his term.

      Hey Keith! Guantanimo is still open, we are still in IRAQ, CSPAN wasn’t granted full access to the healthcare debate, we still don’t have an open government, and Obama keeps adding to our National Debt (and the list goes on).

      Keith love to give a day count from when Bush declared victory in IRAQ. Why don’t you now give a count from when OBAMA promised to get us out of IRAQ, or close Guantanimo, or open access to government and the list goes on?

      There are some news people that hit both sides. Keith, Rush, and Hannity aint in that group. Bias News equals a waste of my time.

      • Johnny D

        Nice Comment Joey. It’s funny how if someone speaks out about Olbermann’s far left agenda, they are automatically assumed to be a Glenn Beck or Rush zombie. Isn’t anyone in the center anymore?

      • DJ

        Good comment Johnny. No one represents the folks in the middle. They are so polarized they couldn’t find their back side wwith both hands if someone didn’t tell them where it was. Read my commet on Kathy’s blog. I research that for myself. I have been watching this country tear itself apart for 30 years. George Washington said to be wary of the Tyranny of parties… So it goes.

      • DCBuckeye

        Joey: EXACTLY. I’m so tired of hypocrite libs and conservatives I could spit. BOTH parties are failures, and just as Beck, et.al are tools of the repubs, Olbermann, et.al are tools of the dems. anyone who thinks otherwise is seriously delusional.

      • AC Walker

        And the reason why your comparison of Keith O to the Faux newsmen is false is because he has done exactly what you asked him too, despite the fact that you obviously never watched in order to check your own biases. Keith has REPEATEDLY called out the Obama administration for the issues you raise. When was the last time anyone on Fox criticized on of “their own?”

      • Vieteravet

        The people you named are not journalist, they are commentators. Not news,opinion,DUH!

      • Anna

        I would love to see some commentators and news organizations that aren’t biased stand up for the center. We are just becoming further divided, and the media/news are adding fuel to the fire. Truly, I believe the majority of people are closer to the middle, but have no representation.
        It is upsetting to see both sides so intent on destroying the other. We are better than that.
        I don’t think Keith or Chris Matthews or the Fox channel help at all. When did we abandon working together, and declare all out war on each other?
        There can be no winners.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Great comment. I’m with you, all us people in the center need to stand up and prove that just because we’re not kissing Obama and Olberman’s asses doesn’t mean we’ve been “brainwashed by Glenn Beck”.

      • budz

        FYI Vietaravet, you can have a news commentary show while reporting news at the same time. However, true news commentary should have 100% integrity. I’ve seen Fox News. And I’ve seen MSNBC and CNN. I’ve noted a major difference between FOX and the rest, and that’s their incredible lack of integrity. I’ve heard more load of fake “facts” come from Fox than anywhere else, and sadly their loyal audience never question what they hear from that network because they’re told everything else they hear is wrong.

        Here’s a challenge for ya: find any video out there or any proof where Keith made a knowingly false statement. In fact, try any of the other shows, Rachel Maddow, O’Donnell, Mathews etc…Be sure to fact check that by NONPARTISAN sources. Go ahead, take your time, do the research. Bring the proof and then I would concede all of you are right, and that his show too was biased. I’ve personally never found a time where Keith presented non-truths, so if anyone proves me wrong I’m open to it.

    • Charles

      Bella – Keith Olbermann had the #1 rated show on MSNBC with an 0.8 rating, with 877000 total viewers, and 334000 viewers in the 25 to 54 demographics. True not the 3+ ratings of the combined Drek-O’Really but impressive considering how unpopular the truth can be – fear mongering sells so much more gold & Bud-lite

      • Tarc

        It’salways true that the truth is far less palatable than fiction. And hey, never mid the recent scientific studies that state unequivocally that Fox viewers are the most misinformed news watchers in the US.

      • topoopon

        Tarc, FOX NEWS viewer are also the OLDEST viewers.

      • Vieteravet

        Oberblown wouldn’t know the truth if it kicked him in the A$$.

    • Faye

      I watched Keith on MSNBC & I;ll watch him on this channel if I can get it.

    • This Guy is Correct

      Saying Olbermann was the most popular host at MSNBC is like saying a short person is the tallest dwarf in the room. Quite the accolade…

    • Ruth A. Olson

      I am one of the “nobodys” who regularly watched Keith on MSNBC and frequently spoke with others who watched Keith’s show also.

    • Tarc

      Yay! More brainwashed crack commentary from the right. Seriously… it’s comical how utterly nuts you guys are.

    • pbobby34

      I think they deserve each other!

    • Steve

      I LOVE CURRENT TV. Viral Video Film school is the shiz!

      Olberman was funny when he was on ESPN, maybe he’ll go back to not being a polly pissy pants.

      • Vieteravet

        He sucked on ESPN that’s why he got fired. Left-winged dribble!

    • R Low

      I think you have your facts wrong. Keith posted huge ratings and I, for one, am glad to follow him to any station he resides at.

      • Larry Perry

        I will follow Keith as long as he continues to comment as forcefully as he has on MSNBC. A true liberal voice with conviction is a rare bird these days.

    • Glenn Beck is a Moron

      We have thousands who will follow Keith wherever he will go…

      • Vieteravet

        Just liked the Pied Piper, please, all fall off a cliff.

    • UnHoly Diver

      Spoken like a true Right Winger…

      • UnHoly Diver

        Oops; that was supposed to be directed at the first commenter. Apologies for any confusion.

    • Stephen

      Bella, it sounds like you swallowed the Fox News kool aid. Keith Olbermann’s show was the highest rated show. He made MSNBC what it is now. Go get your news from Bill-O the Clown and Blubber Boy Beck.

    • blankets

      Bella I’m sure you get this all the time, but…Edward or Jacob. c’mon!!!

    • Maryann

      Well, Bella, you seem to be the typical uninformed Faux ‘news’ viewer, then, because I know many people who watched Keith, including me! And MSNBC doesn’t get the ratings that Faux does, because its audience is not sheeple. Just because lots of people watch something, doesn’t make it true or good.

    • David

      Ok so not one person watched Olbermann lol. A typical emotional right wing brainwashed that speaks in absolutes. Furthermore , ratings do not mean quality. Look at Jerry Springer, American Idol, and all those other crappy reality shows. Fox has high ratings because of its bombastic, in your face nature, not because it is quality or even truthful tv. Heck most people thought the world was flat and thought believe in wizardry in the sky. Nice try though with your spin.

    • David

      Another brainwashed rightwinger talking in absolutes. Nobody means not one person. Do you really believe that? Stop talking in absolutes, it shows you are talking on emotion not logic. Besides all that, ratings do not equate quality nor truth. American Idol, Jerry Springer , Jersey SHore get high ratings. Fox is bombastic and in your face, that is the reason for the high ratings. Besides all that, most people thought world was flat,sun revolved around earth, and most people still believei in wizardry in the sky. I rest my case.

  • PUD

    “Keith Olbermann is one of our society’s most courageous talents.”
    The duplicity of America.
    This will be the death nell of that cable network.

    • jay

      Fox has taught you to spell well I see.

    • Steve

      Doubt it douchey, they have a ton of programming that isn’t news.

  • Xman

    He failed at his last assignment and he will fail at this one too!! Keith is his own biggest fan and no one will watch him or Al (the sky is falling) Gore.

    • brian

      How is a nine year run a failure?
      Schmuck

      • Vieteravet

        He got Fired twice douche’.

      • Rbn

        cause the show failed…its no longer on the air….

    • G. Y. Fortune

      “No one?” I consider myself someone, and a thoughtful, educated, experienced citizen and contributor to the body politic. I know that I am in the company of millions of thinkers and inquisitive people. Keith is human.He has passion, and like, all of us, he can skim the waters a it. He is passionate, and inquisitive, and has a studious motive about the correct human issues.

    • Kathy

      Keith didnt fail Xman. They just wanted to shut him up and not allow him to tell the truth. At least at Current, he will be able to tell it like it is.

    • DJ

      Xman NFS… Al-the sky is falling- Gore. Good call. Recent glacier melt in Norway left stone age artifacts exposed and researchers were so very delighted that they had a chance to study a pre Viking culture. The artifacts were found in settlemens and amid midden mounds. I am sure that the climate then was the result of camp fires and that the ice sheet that eventually covered it was… Gee I don’t know maybe we should ask Al… Read the response i left Kathy. The Gore family is heaviy invested in Occidential Oil, no wonder he wants gas at $5.00 a gallon. People are dumb panicky animals and one should careful of spooking the herd.

      • this is great

        Wow. You believe global warming is a hoax? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

        I suppose you are a climate scientist? Are you saying all scientists in the WORLD are just delusional and YOU know better? The entire scientific community agree the Earth’s climate is in danger. Do you anything about Earth’s atmosphere? The ozone? About the greenhouse effect? I do, I have a greenhouse in my own backyard. Do you know where the gas emmisions from your car end up?Do you know about the history of earth’s oceans, melting ice caps, its weather? If you don’t, it explains why you have no clue what global warming is and should be the last person to claim it’s a hoax.

        Al Gore didn’t invent the climate debate- it’s been known and warned by climate scientists SINCE THE 1890s. In fact, it was started by a Swedish scientist. You still think this is all about Gore and politics? You’re so gullible with your amusing conspiracy theories. I wouldn’t be surprised if you learned all that through right wing sources.

        I bet you see all these blizzards going on and you think that equals no global warming. Just goes to show how uninformed you are. Blizzards are just one of many instances of SEVERE weather you’ll see globally. Hurricanes, tornadoes, heatwaves, hailstorms, windstorms, acid rain- just some more examples of severe weather due to severe and rapid climate change.

        Go ahead. Keep telling yourself you’re smarter than the world’s leading scientists. HAHAHAHAHA

  • Agba Peter

    Keith is the man! I am going to petition my local cable company to carry this great man. I stopped watching opinion TV after he was muzzled out of MSNBC. And I am so sick and tired of Fox’s propaganda milieu and its shrill hosts like Hannity and Cavuto. Thanks Current TV and Al Gore.

    • WILLIAM SIEMON

      “this great man”?!!! Are you nuts? What ‘greatness’ has he done? He’s an egoist. His assertions are based on twisted ‘facts’ not truth.

      • jay

        Another brain washed fox cult member.

      • brian

        Worshiping at the alter of Glen Beck
        has warped your sense of reality.

      • SandyU

        If you think Keith provided “twisted facts,” then you obviously didn’t watch the show – ever. He cited his reports better than most Masters theses.

      • Steve

        What are your assertions based on?

      • christopherblacklock@gmail.com

        what facts has he twisted?

      • susan

        You must be one of those Faux News watchers. You poor pitiful fool.

      • Color Me Impressed

        Wow, this assault from both the right AND the left is pathetic. Just because people are kissing Olberman’s ass doesn’t mean they’ve been “brainwashed by Glenn Beck”. The left is just as ignorant, self-centered, and stubbornly arrogant as the right, except that those on the left constantly tout themselves as “better and more intelligent than the right-wing nutjobs, those heartless, zombie bastards”. Give it a break already, the left is just as brainwashed and biased! Olberman and Beck are both bringing about the downfall of this great nation; we all need to stop being so extremely partisan and find a middle ground, or we’re going to implode. United we stand, divided we fall b*tches. We’re going to have to put our differences aside and deal with it.

      • Color Me Impressed

        aren’t kissing Olberman’s ass, sorry

  • Katie

    I will watch Keith on Current TV.
    In a few short days over 300,000 people signed the petition to keep Keith on MSNBC, so apparently he does have many fans. I wish him luck in his new endeavor.

    • JS

      I detest Olbertwerp but I signed that petition. MSNBC hates the twerps ego and the twerp hates that he can’t get many more millions for his joke ratings. They seem like a perfect match.

  • Howard Bergstrom

    What can I say but this is “cool”

  • B WAGONER

    This is where he belongs with ALGORE. Both are living in LALA land.

    • brian

      You and Glen Beck are the true citizens of LALA land and wipe that drool of your chin.

      • Vieteravet

        Beck is not a republican, obviously you are too stupid to realize that FACT!

  • Jim

    Actually, Olbermann has the highest ratings on MSNBC. He was a great critic of the Democratic party, helping to keep them from following the Republicans in a race to the far right.

    Now, he won’t have a leash. *grabs popcorn* This should be fun…

  • Pundit

    The poison keeps flowing from the right wing illiterates as demonstrated by these two comments. How can I sign for this channel – finally something to look forward to; So glad he is going to be back on the air.

  • Khalid

    At a time where we need people to report on our hired officials are doing. Al gore made the perfect decision to hire Keith. And besides Comcast was going to stop Keith from telling us the truth

    • Myke25

      Comcast owns a small piece of Current, too.

      • Maryann

        WRONG!! Current TV is completely independent. Stop making stuff up!

    • Vieteravet

      We are the illiterates, do you guys read your own posts?

  • Tony

    Monkey see, monkey do.

    Ladies and gen., I present you two monkeys.

    • brian

      What your parents?

      • senorplaid

        Oh snap!

        Moron.

      • Tony

        not chimps like yours.

  • CRY BABYRWINGER

    For all the cry baby “R” Wingers who hate “Hollywood” and everythign about it, they sure do love them some EW and posting stuff on here. If you don’t like something don’t watch it, listen to it, just go burn a dixie chicks cd like good little Pailintes.

  • KC

    I’m with Olbo. He’s the reason people watched MSNBC. But, apparently they did not have the courage to take on the venomous bias and big money of Fox. We need Keith to keep shining a light on the violent and extremist rhetoric of the dangerous ideologues that now threaten our democracy.

  • Sasha

    Ugh. Double fail.

  • Jack Meoff

    Hey Keith: Good luck, you will certainly need it! And when doing your show and realizing that hardly anyone is watching you, just remember my name because it says it all!

    • The Truthmaster

      ROTFLMAO!! Jack, you are the man! Keith can sit on Rachel Maddow’s face (or vica versa, for all I care). Now that would be good television!

      • Wayne Green

        God bless you Jack Meoff and The Truthmaster for having the courage to expose yourselves as the meatheads you truly are. Well done sirs!

      • senorplaid

        The Internet, giving voice to morons since 1993 …

    • brian

      Is this your coming out statement?
      You and The Truthmaster should go out on a date.

      • Tony

        maybe… just not with your ape mother.

      • LOL

        GOP fears Olbermann.

      • Vieteravet

        GOP fears oberblown, like they fear you dorks. They don’t know and don’t care who you are!

    • Michael from NYC

      And the internet was invented by Al Gore, wasn’t it? I think that he said so, so it must be true.

      • AC Walker

        Yoou think that he said so because you are someone who doesn’t check his facts when they come from the Right.

      • Vieteravet

        You’re right, they even did a Snickers comerical about his invention.

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