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Posts Tagged ‘Joel Hyatt’

Current TV CEO Says MSNBC is ‘Inauthentic’

Current TV founder and CEO Joel Hyatt showed up to the Bill Press radio program this morning and made a splash. Hyatt flew in from Current’s home base in San Francisco to give Press moral support on day one of the network broadcasting his radio show on TV. FishbowlDC was there and spent a few minutes chatting with Hyatt.

Dressed in a blue-jean hued suit, Hyatt arrived on the tail end of Press’s program, claiming jet lag.

Press and fellow lefty radio personality Stephanie Miller are Current TV’s first foray into the daytime live talk game. And Hyatt is promising more surprise announcements on the horizon. “Quite candidly, we were dead in the morning,” Hyatt tells us. “Now we’re very much alive. ”

Then the CEO went full bore on the other networks. “There are only three competitors, and they are all vulnerable,” he declared.

He called MSNBC “inauthentic,” CNN “victimized” by its own legacy as a “news” network and Fox News at best an “infotainment” network. “They are liberal by accident,” Hyatt said of MSNBC, adding that the network is a “confused, inauthentic brand” that is supported for their ratings and not their views. “It’s just not a real brand.” He also said CNN has “lost its way” in terms of its identity.

Current TV, on the other hand, is the real deal, he said, insisting, “We’re liberal because of who we are.”

While reluctant to discuss any network controversy surrounding the network’s “brilliant” star broadcaster Keith Olbermann, Hyatt said the recent debacle involving Olbermann being yanked off campaign coverage was nothing more than “just a big distraction.” He acknowledged that more was made of the recent flap than was necessary.

Apart from Olbermann, another sore spot for Current: the cracks on how it is the network no one can find. Hyatt insists this bad rap is changing. On the Dish network Current TV is right next to the Weather Channel. But he admits it hasn’t been easy. On XFinity, the system run by Comcast, a majority owner of NBCU, it is still hard to find. “Increasingly more and more people are finding it,” Hyatt says, adding, “It’s very hard to start a new media network.”

Further reading: So What Do You Do Joel Hyatt? See mediabistro’s recent interview with the CEO.

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Current TV’s Joel Hyatt: ‘We are all in as a political and news network’

From hiring Keith Olbermann and Internet pioneer Cenk Uygur to expanding into daytime with original programming with Stephanie Miller and Bill Press, Current TV has undergone a great deal of changes since its launch in 2005. But its mission stays the same, says co-founder Joel Hyatt.

“Our goal for Current is to influence the conversation of democracy,” says Hyatt in our So What Do You Do? interview. ”We want to have an impact on the public policy discussion.”

Hyatt, who stepped back into the CEO role in July 2012, also gave his two cents on how the Big Three (MSNBC, CNN and Fox News) are doing in covering the Republican primaries and Presidential race.

“There are times in which the cable networks do a really outstanding job; there are times in which I think the job they do is embarrassingly bad,” Hyatt said. “What journalism needs to do is seek truth. Convey it; explore it; create context for it; connect the dots.”

Is that the general rule on those rival networks? “No,” he said.

Read the full interview here.

Current TV Comments on Lee & Ling’s Release

As we told you earlier, former Vice President and Current TV co-founder Al Gore was there for freed journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling‘s arrival back in the United States just a little while ago. Yesterday when the announcement came that North Korea would in fact release the detained journos, Current TV posted one of its first comments about the ordeal.

“All of us at Current are overjoyed at Laura and Euna’s safe return,” Gore and co-founder Joel Hyatt said in the statement. “Our hearts go out to them — and to their families — for persevering through this horrible experience. We will have more to say in the days and weeks ahead. But for now, all our thoughts are with Laura and Euna and their families, who have shown remarkable courage and initiative for the 140 days of this ordeal.”

(h/t FishbowlNY)