Former CNN Washington bureau chief David Bohrman has been named president of Current TV, the cable TV channel founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. Current has switched its focus in recent months from non-fiction and user-generated content towards news, commentary and information, led by “Countdown” host and head of news Keith Olbermann. Bohrman’s last day at CNN was Friday, and as we reported, he recently moved out to Northern California, where Current is based.
Bohrman will be based out of both New York and San Francisco, and will “work closely with Current’s Chief News Officer Keith Olbermann, who is host of Current’s centerpiece program, ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann,’ as the network expands its primetime line-up and election coverage.”
The hiring of Bohrman reaffirms that Current TV is taking its transformation to a news, information and commentary channel seriously. The hiring of Olbermann gave the network a primetime show recognizable to the audience it was trying to reach, and now the hiring of Bohrman gives it a TV news veteran who has experience covering politics, and using technology to try and simplify information to viewers.
The full announcement is after the jump.
DAVID BOHRMAN APPOINTED PRESIDENT OF CURRENT TV
Veteran Executive from CNN, ABC and NBC, Known for Innovation, to Oversee Current’s New Programming Direction
Heading into Election Season, Bohrman to Lead Current’s Emphasis on News Analysis and Political Commentary, with “Countdown” as Centerpiece
San Francisco, August 8, 2011 – Current TV, the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning television network, has appointed veteran broadcast and cable television executive David Bohrman as President. Bohrman, an award winning journalist and news executive who for three decades has helmed political and special event news coverage for major broadcast and cable networks, begins his new post immediately.
Bohrman, known for his unique combination of news programming and technical acumen, will work closely with the network’s co-founders, Current Chairman and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and CEO Joel Hyatt.
“Current’s mission has always been to shine a light on important issues, to spark debate and to speak truth to power. Earlier this year, we advanced this mission when we brought Keith Olbermann to Current and clearly stated our intent to be a truly independent, conflict-free, progressive voice in the news and political commentary arena,” said Mr. Gore. “David Bohrman passionately shares our vision. He has innovation in his DNA, and he has the unique qualifications and relationships to take Current to a whole new level in programming and production. I very much admire David’s excellent work, his integrity, his drive and his consistent track record of innovation. He will be a tremendous leader for Current, and Joel and I are proud to have David join us in this exciting venture.”
For the past decade, Bohrman was CNN’s senior vice president of programming and Washington, DC bureau chief, and in May of this year, he became CNN’s SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Worldwide. As Current’s President, he will be based in New York and San Francisco, and will oversee programming, production, broadcast operations, digital and technology. He will also work closely with Current’s Chief News Officer Keith Olbermann, who is host of Current’s centerpiece program, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” as the network expands its primetime line-up and election coverage.
“Re-defining media in a world of consolidation requires some game-changing measures,” said Joel Hyatt. “Having Keith Olbermann join Current was a game-changer. When we sought world-class leadership in the programming, production and digital areas, David Bohrman’s name came up time and again. Al and I believe that society needs, and audiences want, programming that delivers more than sound bites. People want an explanation, they want context, they want understanding. And they want tools that will get them engaged in making a difference about issues they care about. David is highly skilled in bringing information and clear-eyed analysis on important matters to multiple screens. And no one can touch David when it comes to developing innovative ways to tap the zeitgeist and get audiences immersed and involved.”
“There has been a profound change in the media landscape in terms of what’s being covered, how it’s being covered and how audiences want to consume it,” said Mr. Bohrman. “Those of us inside the media business have a responsibility to anticipate what viewers want and need, and we must constantly reinvent the medium. Today more than ever, I think audiences demand intelligent discourse instead of shouting. They want a way to be part of the discourse instead of being passive outsiders. I have been watching what Al and Joel and Keith have been doing at Current, and I believe that Current has a real opportunity to be a truly vital medium for a new breed of savvy, intelligent viewers. I’m extremely energized and inspired by this opportunity to work with them to establish Current as a significant and influential voice in the news and political commentary arena.”
During the three-decade span of his career, Bohrman has brought some of the world’s most memorable events to television. He spent more than a dozen years at CNN, where he oversaw newsgathering, political coverage and Washington programing, including the network’s 2008 “Election Night in America,” which generated CNN’s highest primetime ratings in its history and topped every other broadcast and cable networks’ audience numbers. He served as executive producer of CNN’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Presidential primary campaigns and debates throughout the 2008 election season. He also oversaw several other CNN Washington-based programs including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” “John King, USA,” and “State of the Union with Candy Crowley.” He oversaw CNN’s major political event coverage and is known for his innovative use of technology to help the network explain and expand on the issues of the day, ranging from CNN’s New York based coverage of September 11 to political conventions and Presidential inaugural events. He came to CNN as executive in charge of the “Moneyline News Hour,” and under his leadership, the show’s ratings increased by 20 percent in six months. David is widely known for having created the “magic wall” for John King and the “situation room” for Wolf Blitzer.
Prior to CNN, Bohrman held a range of leadership roles, including as CEO of Pseudo, Inc, the world’s first interactive Internet television network. He executive produced almost all of NBC News’ special news events from 1993-1997 and was part of MSNBC’s launch team, where he created two of that network’s original programs, “The Site” and “Imus in the Morning.” For 13 years before that, Bohrman was at ABC News, where in addition to being the principal creator and executive producer of its “World News Now” program and of ABC News Interactive, he was also a senior producer and part of the launch team for “Nightline.”
Bohrman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science from Stanford University. He also earned a Masters of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University.
A full biography of David Bohrman is below.
About Current Media:
Current Media, the Peabody-and Emmy Award-winning television and online network founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, features the very best in commentary and information programming. Home to the newly launched “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” as well as the celebrated documentary series “Vanguard,” Current is dedicated to providing insightful analysis of important issues – and digging deep into real stories to uncover how they affect real people. Current shines a light where other networks won’t dare and boldly explores provocative subjects – opening minds, sparking conversations and forming deep connections with its viewers. Current creates the commentary and delivers the independent, unexpected point-of-view our viewers want and need to hear. Current is media that matters.
Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 60 million households in the US through distribution partners Comcast (Channel 107); Time Warner; DirecTV (Channel 358 nationwide); Dish Network (Channel 196 nationwide); Verizon and AT&T. In the UK and Ireland, Current is available on BSkyB (Channel 183) and Virgin Media (Channel 155). Viewers can also find Current online at www.current.com.
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