Last we heard from Keith Olbermann, he was leaving his MSNBC show Countdown, in something of a hush-hush move that probably had something to do with Comcast pushing him out. He was contractually barred from talking about it. Today, Olbermann is expected to announce that he is joining Current TV — what the New York Times calls a “public affairs channel” — which is partially owned by Al Gore. You take what you can get, maybe? Or you take a chance and change the world. Yeah!
Current TV is currently available in 60 million homes, according to the Times, and “is usually available only on the digital tier of cable television systems, which requires a separate receiver,” while MSNBC, Olbermann’s last home, can be seen in 85 million homes, but as a part of basic cable.
Audience aside, Current is avowedly liberal and targeted at young people — not a bad thing at all for Olbermann, who the Times writes “would surely elevate the channel, bringing it attention it has never before received.”
Reports indicate that Olbermann likely must abide by an undisclosed waiting period before he can return to another television network, as per his MSNBC contract, leading many to believe he will pursue something else in addition to a new show. Going to Current, which doesn’t seem substantial enough to sate the man’s notorious ego, seems to fortify the theory that he’ll be multitasking. Here’s the Times again:
The abruptness of Mr. Olbermann’s departure last month suggested that he already had lined up another media job. The Internet domain name TheOlbermannShow.com was registered two days before his televised goodbye. A few days afterward, he set up a new Twitter account, called “FOKNewsChannel,” short for “Friends of Keith.”
A PR conference call at 11 a.m. is expected to confirm the Current deal.