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Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:17 PM

Al Gore's Desperate Bid to Keep Keith Olbermann—and Save Current TV--Newsweek

Don't shoot the messenger....

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/is-keith-olbermann-the-last-hope-for-gore-s-current-tv.html

t was early November when tensions between Keith Olbermann and Al Gore escalated into a crisis at Current TV. There had been a short honeymoon after Gore, the channel’s co-owner, had handed the notoriously temperamental anchor a reported $10 million salary and equity stake in February of last year, but the relationship soured quickly. Now, just five months after Olbermann’s show Countdown had resurfaced on Current, it looked as if he might walk away.

Accustomed to the flashy graphics and slick broadcasts of MSNBC, Olbermann balked at the cheap sets and lo-fi production values at the scrappy Current. Ensconced in his New York office, the star ignored emails from the network’s West Coast executives. He wanted them to invest more on the technical side, and he wanted more authority in other areas of the network, including personnel decisions. He was also upset about his car service. Gore and his partners had shelled out for a star; now, it seemed, the star owned them.
--snip--
The prospects were potentially ruinous for Current. After it had struggled for six years as an assertively nonpartisan news network, baffling critics and going largely unnoticed by viewers, Current’s founders, Gore and partner Joel Hyatt, had finally come up with what could be a game-changing plan: to reinvent the station as a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week liberal cable-news outlet, a bastion for progressive ideas and politics on television, a way to harness and influence the Democratic Party—in short, as Hyatt says, the “anti-Fox.”
--snip--
Gore’s company politicking, plus the intervention of lawyers for both sides, seems to have worked. Olbermann—for now—is sitting tight. Current’s big media plan, hastily drawn up after the network managed to hire Olbermann, is quickly sliding into place. What it’s after is nothing short of the holy grail of left-wing politics. And Al Gore, who knows what it’s like to be this close to triumph, is determined not to fail.

more at the link...

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply Al Gore's Desperate Bid to Keep Keith Olbermann—and Save Current TV--Newsweek (Original post)
hlthe2b Feb 2012 OP
southernyankeebelle Feb 2012 #1
tularetom Feb 2012 #2
Flying Dream Blues Feb 2012 #4
TheWraith Feb 2012 #7
Proud Liberal Dem Feb 2012 #11
Fawke Em Feb 2012 #21
winstars Feb 2012 #3
sufrommich Feb 2012 #5
MrCoffee Feb 2012 #6
bathroommonkey76 Feb 2012 #8
FarPoint Feb 2012 #9
a kennedy Feb 2012 #12
BeHereNow Feb 2012 #13
Uncle Joe Feb 2012 #25
Uncle Joe Feb 2012 #10
Cleita Feb 2012 #15
EFerrari Feb 2012 #33
Obama3_16 Feb 2012 #14
csziggy Feb 2012 #16
Cleita Feb 2012 #17
bluestate10 Feb 2012 #18
Bluenorthwest Feb 2012 #19
Jennicut Feb 2012 #20
Bandit Feb 2012 #22
Pisces Feb 2012 #23
CreekDog Feb 2012 #24
lonestarnot Feb 2012 #26
pacalo Feb 2012 #27
pacalo Feb 2012 #28
RZM Feb 2012 #29
Azathoth Feb 2012 #31
Raine Feb 2012 #30
Norrin Radd Feb 2012 #32
Tx4obama Feb 2012 #34
NotThisTime Feb 2012 #35

Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:23 PM

1. I sure hope they can make it work.

 

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:30 PM

2. David Letterman keeps saying Olbermann has a big head

I always thought he meant that literally. But I've read enough stories like this to believe Keith has gone all diva on us.

I really like the guy but guess what. I haven't missed him while he's been playing his little power games with Current and if he doesn't come back, well, too bad.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:35 PM

4. I wonder as well.

We need Keith not to be so divisive; his value diminishes even though we may enjoy his passion.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:40 PM

7. It's been happening for awhile, unfortunately.

There was a distinct period of sliding, way back on MSNBC, where it went from the insightful questions and expert commentary that made Countdown a hit to much more of Keith apparently feeling like he was the world's greatest authority on politics. If I wanted to hear someone go on long, self-important rants about the ridiculously impractical things they think the President should do, I'd read more blogs. I'd rather have the old Countdown back: overlooked news, political analysis, and irreverent mockery of the people who deserve it.

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Response to TheWraith (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:55 PM

11. His Glenn Beck "Art Attack" segment was OTT hilarious! (September 2009)

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Response to tularetom (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:55 PM

21. Having bronchitis is playing a power game?

He's been sick - not out sulking.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:31 PM

3. I liked the last few sentences of this paragraph:

Bohrman’s primetime lineup is now in place and, Current’s internal dysfunctions aside, he’s hoping to bring sanity to TV news. The new programming will yank the network to the left. Countdown, at 8 p.m., is flanked by shows anchored by Cenk Uygur, late of MSNBC, and former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, whose show debuted at the end of January. (The sets have been built anew: Granholm’s looks like a political war room, with bumper stickers and posters covering the walls.) Bohrman is now rushing to develop a morning show that could provide a liberal alternative to Morning Joe, which Current executives view as an essentially conservative broadcast. He is also looking at real estate for a production headquarters and, further down the line, thinking about a Sunday show to take on Meet the Press. Bohrman dreams of hosting a debate in 2016.

A real alternative to Joey Scar!!!

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:36 PM

5. Olbermann sounds like a prima donna. He

gets a lot of money for the privilege of making Al Gore tiptoe around him. Not a very flattering picture.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:39 PM

6. I miss Keith Olbermann on ESPN

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Response to MrCoffee (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:43 PM

8. That bridge burned years ago. ;) nt

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:47 PM

9. What about Phil Donahue?

Al Gore should bring him into the fold.

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Response to FarPoint (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:05 PM

12. I would love Phil Donahue on Current....

he was way before his time on TV.

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Response to FarPoint (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:12 PM

13. I SO like that suggestion!

Dump the Diva and put Phil back on the air!
BHN

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Response to FarPoint (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:43 AM

25. I agree, Phil Donahue would be an excellent addition,

maybe for the morning show, they're talking about?

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:53 PM

10. A typical corporate media propaganda piece by Newsweak,

Gore was "desperate," "owned," "prostrate," "*trying to deny his fate," and of course the critics even anonymous ones; are given the last word.

*Whatever that means?

"With the situation at least momentarily under control—Olbermann was calm, thoughtful, and at times even lighthearted while covering the South Carolina primary—Gore and Hyatt just might tiptoe their way to a viable television network without disturbing their only star.

Gore, ever politic, presses on. “Keith is fulfilling exactly the role that I had hoped for,” he told Newsweek in an email interview.

Others are less hopeful.

“They’re relying on a time bomb to define themselves,” says one insider. “No matter how carefully you work to defuse it, it will go off.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/is-keith-olbermann-the-last-hope-for-gore-s-current-tv.html

Thanks for the thread, hlthe.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:17 PM

15. I was wondering about the source too. n/t

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:51 AM

33. That's what it reads like, doesn't it?

I actually like the quieter production values. All those bells and whistles on MSNBC are annoying. When I caught the show on Current, Keith seemed more relaxed and focused.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:14 PM

14. lol. Makes Ben Afflek sendup of him even more relevant.

 

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:21 PM

16. They do need to improve the technology

I don't watch as much Current TV as I'd like because the sound quality is so bad and the volume is so low compared to the other channels. The quality is especially bad on The Young Turks.

I don't care about the sets - I kind of like the minimalist black background that Olbermann has been using - and I think flashy graphics distract from the real message. In fact, I have seen more technical glitches on MSNBC with the anchors asking for videos that were supposed to be qued up that never get played.

As long as I can hear the discussions, I don't care about the rest.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:23 PM

17. KO is supposed to be back on the air today.

We'll see.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:43 PM

18. Obermann is a primadonna.

He should have known that he was walking into a low budget operation that was looking to build viewers.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:48 PM

19. They need to up their tech, he needs to relax. Done.

They do need to kick up the look, that's for sure....

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 06:54 PM

20. I always liked Olbermann but he really needs to tone down the diva act.

This is Al Gore, the former VP of the United States and someone who is trying to get a liberal message out in the media. Olbermann can either help him or make it harder for him.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:08 PM

22. Hear Say and Rumor Mongering

I think Current is going to do just fine and Keith right along with it..

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:54 PM

23. I am sick of Keith Olbermann and his prima donna ways. Al Gore needs to fire his dumb ass.

He doesn't deserve for Al Gore to beg him to do anything.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Mon Feb 6, 2012, 07:55 PM

24. I'm just checking in to say "here" before the Keith O. pile-on starts

they should be here any moment.

Keith's work speaks for itself and I like what he has done for cable news coverage. Likable or not, he was a critical part, if not the catalyst of what is still at MSNBC even in his absence.

In the case of Current TV, Keith is taking a job he didn't need to take and probably wants to be sure that his efforts have a point and create something. I like what one of the network's execs said when he said they just want Keith to be Keith. If Keith can be Keith, that may be the difference in the other things Current TV gaining the critical mass they need to succeed.

I like Keith.

I like Al Gore.

I like Current.

I expect some craziness as Current tries to become for real and a big deal. I hope they succeed and I hope Keith is part of that.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 12:56 AM

26. I want the fucking channel! What can they do about that?

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:03 AM

27. So do I! I called my cable provider & went through several employees in different

departments to request Current TV & it was maddening. I made the point that if Fox News was on my tv lineup whether or not I requested it, that Cox should also provide a news channel for progressives.

The second young woman I talked to had the most idiotic brush-off response. "Well, did you know there are many who would be upset if we took Fox News off the air?"

I never asked either representative to take Fox off the air!

"I'm not asking you to take a channel off the air; if I don't like a channel, I simply don't watch it. What I'm asking is that Cox add Current TV to its lineup."

Her defensiveness was really telling.

I think what I'm going to have to do is, instead of contacting Cox by phone & dealing with dimwits, write to the corporate office.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:12 AM

28. I've read enough about Keith Olbermann to know that he's a man of integrity.

If he feels something is wrong, it's wrong. And he stays true to his sense of values. I don't know what he's been promised behind the scenes, but if he's taking a stand, I feel confident that there has been a breach that he's not going to suffer lightly.

Current TV needs to put some heavy emphasis on directly selling their network to cable providers. Offer the cable providers some sort of sweet deal (like I suspect Fox News has done) to carry Current TV.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:25 AM

29. Let's get real. We've known for many years that Olbermann doesn't work and play well with others

 

That goes back to Fox, ESPN, and MSNBC.

And it's not surprising, because the same qualities that make him great as a news analyst (sharp, biting, angry, witty) are the same qualities that make it hard for him to get along. If he's willing to tell Bush and anybody else on the political scene to shove it, it's natural he would tell his own bosses the same thing.

That's how these things work. Contrarians usually aren't just contrarians in arenas where benefits them. They are also contrarians with their co-workers, friends, and families.

If you're a genuine firebrand, you're genuine. That means you look really good raging against your enemies. But the problem is that if you're the real deal, you can't just turn it off whenever you want. If you could, you wouldn't be genuine in the first place. If you reap the benefits for being an angry firebrand in public, you're probably going to reap the consequences for doing the same thing in private.

There is no free lunch.

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Response to RZM (Reply #29)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:40 AM

31. Pretty much sums it up n/t

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:32 AM

30. I don't get Current TV. I just hope it lasts long

enough so that some day I'll be able to see it.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 03:46 AM

32. Not shooting the messenger/OP... ;-)

The Daily Beast is right-wing. Not going to take what they report as gospel.

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Response to hlthe2b (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 04:38 AM

34. Current TV screwed up when ...


when they didn't start out with a whole new nighttime primetime line-up when KO's show premiered.
Adding one show at a time was a poor business decision.
And the audio on Olbermann's show sucks!

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 08:02 AM

35. The lighting isn't too good either, not kidding...

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