Breaking: Current TV “terminates relationship” with Olbermann, replaces him with … Eliot Spitzer; Update: Olby regrets joining Current, vows “legal actions” against it

posted at 5:25 pm on March 30, 2012 by Allahpundit

Fox, MSNBC, ESPN, and now Current. Apparently it’s impossible for a media outfit to co-exist happily with Keith Olbermann.

Note to CNN: How lucky do you feel?

In a letter to viewers, the channel said Friday: “We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet. We are more committed to those goals today than ever before. Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”

Mr. Olbermann will not be given an opportunity to sign off…

The decision to dismiss Mr. Olbermann was unanimous among the senior managers of Current, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Alternate headline: “Cable-access host loses last three viewers.” If any of this comes as a surprise, you must have missed (a) this post and its follow-up back in January when the first rumblings about Olby not getting along with Current’s management began and (b) the entire arc of his career.

Updates are coming as reaction to this wholly predictable clusterfark develops, so stand by. A question to ponder while you wait: No one embodies “respect,” “openness,” and “loyalty” quite like Client Number Nine, huh?

Update: TPM has a source.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Current decided to let Olbermann go because the progressive pundit “did not respect the viewers of Current.” The basis of his firing included, according to the source: “sabotaging the network” and attacking Current and its executives.”

The source added that Olbermann failed to show up for work without authorization, missing almost half of his working days in the months of January and February. Olbermann asked for a vacation day on March 5, the night before Super Tuesday, according to the source. He was told it would be a breach if he took the vacation, which Olbermann did.

The NYT story linked up top has that same detail about March 5.

Update: As promised, here comes the clusterfark: Olby just tweeted that he’ll be putting his statement out on Twitter imminently. Here’s his feed. Things I’m hoping to see: “That Nobel prize was totally undeserved.” Stay tuned.

Update: Yep. Clusterfark:

I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain: http://nyti.ms/HueZsa In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

Whom to believe? The guy who seems to end up clashing with every network he joins? Or … Al Gore?

Update: Andy Levy of “Red Eye” imagines the statement Olby should have issued.

Update: The only place left he can go is the Internet, which is good because if ever there was a guy who really needs to be his own boss, he’s it. I wonder if he’ll start his own Beck-type operation where he does a show every night for paid subscribers or if he’ll latch onto, say, Media Matters and put out exorbitantly expensive podcasts for them. Let’s hope that a serene, independent-minded shop like MMFA can cope with his hysterical partisanship and unique workplace charm.

Update: The Political Math guy tweets, “If you play Olbermann’s career in reverse, it’s the story of a jobless man who rises from a lowly Internet channel to a prime-time talk show”.

Update: Politico identifies Olby’s chief nemesis at Current as network prez David Bohrman:

There was noticeable tension between Bohrman and Olbermann from the get-go, said a source familiar with the situation.

“It seemed like Bohrman had it in for Keith since Bohrman got hired at Current TV,” said the source. The source asserted Bohrman used Olbermann’s show as “a guinea pig for trying out new talent” on Current’s airwaves, such as Spitzer and Bill Press, both of whom guest hosted “Countdown.”

Bohrman “brought in all his own people,” said the source, asserting Bohrman favored folks with CNN ties, including Shelley Lewis, who was the lead producer for CNN’s “American Morning” and is now Current’s executive vice president for programming. Spitzer, of course, also came from CNN.


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Milt, we’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2012 at 12:18 AM

When signing his $50 contract with Current, Hyatt’s prior behavior didn’t seem to an issue for Mr. Olbermann. When the contract is terminated, naturally, then it is.

Fredo on March 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Don’t you love blue on blue violence?

unclesmrgol on March 31, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Imagaging what this creep is going to do next is fascinating… Who is going to step up and give him a gig?

Ahhh, I see a Media Matters executive position in his future…

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Key West Reader on March 30, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Keep dreaming, KWR. The only way they’ll fire Sharpton is if there video of him encouraging people to like, riot and stuff..

Oh wait…never mind.

BlaxPac on March 30, 2012 at 8:20 PM

The whole lineup on MSNBC is trashier than Comcast’s cash-cow, E! (aka the Kardashian channel)

Comcast clearly put MSNBC on the low end of the priority totem pole, and have given Phil Griffin free reign to run it as a mouth organ for the Socialist movement. (And, mind you, Griffin was literally hand-picked by Olby!) He should be blamed for hiring dangerous people like Ed Schultz (his being knee-deep in union underwriting is FAR WORSE than anything Olby was ever guilty of), Al Sharpton (what else CAN be said?) and Looney Larry O’Donnell (by far, the most sane of anyone on MSNBC prime… and that’s saying a LOT).

Which is odd, because they seem to be focusing more attention and money into the owned-and-operated stations division even more than the actual NBC network. The problem being, MSNBC’s propaganda/activist tainting of the NBC News division, and NBC’s continual failure in prime-time, make that effort moot.

Myron Falwell on March 31, 2012 at 12:23 AM

Instapundit: Funny, but wasn’t it supposed to be Limbaugh going off the air?

J_Crater on March 31, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Instapundit: Funny, but wasn’t it supposed to be Limbaugh going off the air?

J_Crater on March 31, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Karma sure is a b***h, isn’t it?

XD

Myron Falwell on March 31, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Current TV “terminates relationship” with Olbermann, replaces him with … Eliot Spitzer

When resources get scarce in a colony of rats, they start chewing each other up.

(They can’t help it, they’re rats!!)

landlines on March 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Al Gore and his minions are as knowledgeable about on air “talent” (And I use that term loosely) as they are global warming. Couldn’t happen to a bigger D Bag if there ever was one. Now if you could take Crissy drooler Mathews and Bildo Maher with you to some deserted atoll in the Pacific, the world would be a better place.

Minnfidel on March 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Current TV “terminates relationship” with Olbermann, replaces him with … Eliot Spitzer
When resources get scarce in a colony of rats, they start chewing each other up.

(They can’t help it, they’re rats!!)

landlines on March 31, 2012 at 1:09 AM

Elliot Spitzer? seriously? Yea, this is going to end as well as error America. The only thing missing now is some money stolen from a kids charity.

Minnfidel on March 31, 2012 at 1:11 AM

Spitzer? This can’t get anymore hilarious…

Has Al Gore completely lost his mind? (I guess that’s a rhetorical question).

I guess Current get’s first dibs on the MSNBC rejects?

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Footage of Olbermann being interviewed in TWO different costumes…..

ACTUAL FOOTAGE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGS2tKQhdhY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4Sn9sHHZW4&feature=related

williamg on March 31, 2012 at 1:21 AM

Olbermann gets the shaft?

… From Client #9 Eliot Spitzer?!?

Bwaaahahahahahahaha!!!!

ITguy on March 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM

Well, there’s always OWN!

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 31, 2012 at 1:27 AM

I always predicted that Olbermann would completely flameout. Not because I’m wicked shmart, but because he has always burned bridges and flamed out everywhere he’s ever worked. But don’t laugh…the way ESPN has been going hard left, he might just end up back there! /s

OxyCon on March 31, 2012 at 1:31 AM

Ann Coulter said there’s always a spot for him in at Cornell.
Too bad it’s probably in the barn…

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 1:38 AM

Thanx for the laughs Uberdouche.

tbear44 on March 31, 2012 at 1:39 AM

“Progressivism” is a mental disease.

petefrt on March 31, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Another sanctimonious blowhard liberal media hack bites the dust. Good riddance.

Love it when the liberals fight each other, though. It is always a good show and wish it would happen more often.

How about that union-greased libtard Ed Schultz next? Or maybe Tingles?

AttaBoyLuther on March 31, 2012 at 1:54 AM

I really don’t want to get too excited…

Is this the best March ever or what?

jms on March 30, 2012 at 11:22 P

But I have to admit, it’s been a good couple of weeks (if you don’t count the state of the nation that is).

But watching Barry scramble around the country trying proving what a great leader he is, well, pathetic.

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 1:54 AM

keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers

Translation: my relatives.

squint on March 31, 2012 at 1:58 AM

Olbermann is just doing his thang! Straight up! What was that film about John Malcovich’s brain? I’d like to see the Olbermann version….

Sherman1864 on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Olbermann is just doing his thang! Straight up! What was that film about John Malcovich’s brain? I’d like to see the Olbermann version….

Sherman1864 on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 AM

There has to be a brain to begin with…

Sorry, that was just too easy…

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 2:20 AM

Whom to believe? The guy who seems to end up clashing with every network he joins? Or … Al Gore?

Who cares? In Red [communist] on Red [communist] fights, no matter who loses, the American people win.

AZfederalist on March 31, 2012 at 2:35 AM

Tough to pick a side in this fight, may a pox fall upon all their houses.

Probably extracting the big bucks from do-gooding morons like Gore and Hyatt would serve humanity better in the end because Olbie would spend the money on himself and not a bunch of stupid “causes” – no matter how correct.

Olbermann is notoriously hard to work with, a complete jerk even when he was small potatoes at ESPN, it appears his natural audience was just leftist nut cases since Maddow is pulling ratings close to what he once had, and the most of any cable opinion show not on Fox.

So for most of them, it wasn’t that they were such Olbermann fans as he thought, they’re just leftist idiots.

Adjoran on March 31, 2012 at 4:59 AM

According to a source familiar with the situation, Current decided to let Olbermann go because the progressive pundit “did not respect the viewers of Current.” The basis of his firing included, according to the source: “sabotaging the network” and attacking Current and its executives.”

I knew it!!! Olbermann’s a closeted Republican. :-)

DevilsPrinciple on March 31, 2012 at 5:52 AM

ccrosby on March 31, 2012 at 2:20 AM

I won’t venture to argue that point for I will only come off the worse for it, I fear!

Sherman1864 on March 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM

A Douche Bag liberal fighting with other Douche Bag liberals…PRICELESS!!!

Tbone McGraw on March 31, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Somewhere Dan Patrick is shaking his head…

fossten on March 31, 2012 at 7:19 AM

In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out.

WTF?? Al Gore was cheated out of the presidency by Bush and is the honorable thugee we have in America. How dare you question his truthfulness and ethics.

We are ready to march for you Al.

jarhead0311 on March 31, 2012 at 7:19 AM

Tough to pick a side in this fight, may a pox fall upon all their houses.

Probably extracting the big bucks from do-gooding morons like Gore and Hyatt would serve humanity better in the end because Olbie would spend the money on himself and not a bunch of stupid “causes” – no matter how correct.

Adjoran on March 31, 2012 at 4:59 AM

The bathtub industry will get an unexpected spike in revenue.

fossten on March 31, 2012 at 7:20 AM

He is the Beck of the left…let him open his own network and like Beck’s, we will sit back and watch it fail…the only difference? Beck’s will take another year, Olby’s will be over in months.

right2bright on March 31, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Why do people keep hiring this guy? It always ends badly. He’s like Ted Baxter without the likability factor. And now Current TV is hiring Eliot Spitzer to replace him? Why, because he did so well at CNN? What, they couldn’t get Anthony Weiner?

bellagrazi on March 31, 2012 at 8:31 AM

bellagrazi on March 31, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Maybe, known losers are better than unknown losers?

Blake on March 31, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Press Release:

Current TV announced it will be replacing its Hookers with Prostitutes.

That changes everything!

etbliss on March 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

I had forgotten about Keith. I am not being snarky here.
He was just not breaking through.

Ratings. Anyone seen any recent numbers?

Interesting week.
From Verilli’s problem, to the chatting class
there is no coherent, persuasive leftist argument.

The recycling of Bill Press and Stephanie Miller shows how light and thin the talent is on that side.

Who on the left is serious, persuasive, commands an audience, is quoted by the president to lead the folks down hopeychange road?

There aren’t any. Because there aren’t any arguments.

So, the lovely Big D opts for race war.

The distressing thing is knowing we can still lose this thing.
Stay vigilant, people.

PaleoRider on March 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

This is Liberal Thunderdome.

Gladtobehere on March 31, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Reminds me of this guy I knew. He quit or got fired, and he complained to me about how awful his boss was, and I listened sympathetically.

Next job, he quit or got fired, and he complained to me about how awful his boss was, and I listened, but wondered.

The next job, he quit or got fired, and he complained to me about how awful his boss was, . . . . and at that point I told him I didn’t think the problem was his boss.

WannabeAnglican on March 31, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Press Release:

Current TV announced it will be replacing its Hookers with Prostitutes.

That changes everything!

etbliss on March 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Al Gore has some hot oil “friends” he promised jobs.

Roy Rogers on March 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Press Release:

Current TV announced it will be replacing its Hookers with Prostitutes.

That changes everything!

etbliss on March 31, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Al Gore has some hot oil “friends” he promised jobs.

Roy Rogers on March 31, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Are you referring to the charges that Al Gore is a “sex poodle”?

Gladtobehere on March 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Dog bites dog…where’s the story?

Gordy on March 31, 2012 at 10:11 AM

God bless Algore. This single action will lower the global hot air by at least 3.2 degrees Celsius.

rogaineguy on March 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Keith, suing Current TV is not going to change the fact that everyone hates you. The thing for you to do is to take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and let it dawn on you that you are a miserable human being and take steps to rectify that.

theaddora on March 31, 2012 at 11:00 AM

And So …
The drama queen of lounge-lizards gets the bum’s rush yet again.
What’s a boy to do?
I have an idea, but he would have to travel to experience it.
His career meltdown has been entertaining though, I must admit.
Some call it Schadenfreude.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on March 31, 2012 at 11:01 AM

He better mind his finances in a big way…..Who in their right mind would ever hire him again is his so called field??????? He needs to reinvent himself fast……..

Karla1953 on March 31, 2012 at 12:17 PM

A little off-topic, but wonderful Olbermann anecdote from my undergraduate college days:

I took a class called “Electoral Politics” during the Fall of 2008. It was a cross-disciplinary class that focused on the media and their portrayal of the Presidential election cycle. Naturally, the class was run by a couple of liberal professors and populated by mostly liberal students.

As a part of the class, each student had to pick a media source to cover over the course of the semester and deliver a presentation regarding the “newsworthiness” of the source. I felt it was my chance. I picked Olby’s “Countdown” as my source.

During my semester-end presentation, I delivered a 20-minute presentation of the most vile, vitriolic, disgusting highlights of Olby’s program that semester. My professor asked me what his “newsworthiness” was. I said “0.” This sent the fervently liberal professor into a furry, describing how there was some newsworthiness in the program, but that Olby wasn’t a traditional news pundit and that “nobody went to get their ‘news’ from ‘Countdown.’”

Just as he finished his rant, I pulled up my last slide. In the weeks preceding the election, the PPP released a study about who liberals and conservatives viewed as their most trusted source of news. By a plurality, liberals chose … I took a dramatic pause … Olbermann.

I got the worst grade of my undergraduate career in that class. Never regretted a thing.

JDF123 on March 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Update: The Political Math guy tweets, “If you play Olbermann’s career in reverse, it’s the story of a jobless man who rises from a lowly Internet channel to a prime-time talk show”.

Keith O. has a great future as a country and western singer/songwriter.

Paul-Cincy on March 31, 2012 at 2:08 PM

It’s not Rush’s version, but it’s not bad:

Love Client Number Nine

EconomicNeocon on March 31, 2012 at 4:02 PM

He’ll settle out of court for a life time supply of cafe au lattes and bubble bath.

esnap on April 1, 2012 at 12:06 AM

May this be the absolute last we see of this psycho. I mean, really.

curved space on April 1, 2012 at 8:29 AM

JDF123 on March 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Now, THAT’S a gem !!
Kudos !!
:-)

pambi on April 1, 2012 at 3:51 PM

This is truly a Preparation H moment. We are getting relief in our collective butts from a real pain-in-the-arse.

lperello on April 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

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