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Keith Olbermann Adds Contributors to ‘Countdown’ on Current, Talks Rachel Maddow on NBC

Former MSNBC host and soon-to-be Current TV host Keith Olbermann announced a slew of new contributors to his program today.

They include Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi, former Richard Nixon staffer John Dean, journalist Jeremy Scahill, actor Donald Sutherland and even astronomer Derrick Pitts, who Olbermann stressed will not be on to talk about politics, but other news of the day.

“Obviously we are going to have Derrick talk about the moon, rather than the days politics,” Olbermann said in a call this morning.

The announcement came just a day after Olbermann returned to his old stomping ground at 30 Rock to appear on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Among other subjects, Olbermann talked about Rachel Maddow, who he says he hopes will be joining him at Current TV eventually:

More information on Olbermann’s new contributors, after the jump.

CURRENT TV’S “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN” ANNOUNCES DAVID SHUSTER AS GUEST HOST; TAPS KEY CONTRIBUTORS MATT TAIBBI, HEATHER MCGHEE, JOHN DEAN, MAYSOON ZAYID, DONALD SUTHERLAND AND MORE TO LEND THEIR VIEWS AND VOICES AS A REGULAR PART OF THE “COUNTDOWN” LINE UP

SHOW PREMIERES MONDAY, JUNE 20 AT 8 P.M. ET

NEW YORK – June 17, 2011– “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the highly-anticipated weeknight commentary show slated to launch on independently owned Current TV on June 20th at 8PM ET(replayed at 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET) announced today that veteran television anchor David Shuster will serve as the primary guest host for occasions when Keith Olbermann is unable to be in-studio, as well as an additional number of regular contributors, which include notable policy-makers, thought leaders, journalists, comedians, activists and other progressive voices. Lending their views and voices to “Countdown” on a regular basis will be Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi; John Dean, Former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon; Heather McGhee, Director of the Washington office of Demos, a non-partisan policy center; Jonathan Turley, law professor at The George Washington University School of Law; comedian and activist Maysoon Zayid; Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones energy and environmental reporter and investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill. Actor Donald Sutherland and Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director for the Franklin Institute will also regularly appear on the program. Mr. Pitts, like previously announced Countdown contributor Ken Burns, will be contributing non-political elements to the show.

“Once again I have the pleasure of welcoming home so many old friends to this medium’s new primary network for progressive news, and am delighted they’ll be helping me defend Freedom Of Television,” said Olbermann, Current TV’s Chief News Officer.

These contributors join other “Countdown” contributors who were previously announced (press release available here).

“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” marks the return to the airwaves for Olbermann, one of journalism’s most provocative and outspoken voices, on independently-owned Current, which was founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt and is now distributed in more than 75 million households around the world. The series leads a programming slate on Current that is dedicated to providing insightful analysis of important issues — and digging deep into real stories to uncover how they affect real people. The network’s original, long-form programming includes “Vanguard,” an award-winning documentary series whose 2011 slate will debut after “Countdown” at 9 p.m. ET on June 20; and “4th and Forever,” the documentary series premiering about the extraordinary players, coaches and families behind the Long Beach Poly football program (which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET).

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 our viewers. Current creates the commentary and delivers the independent, unexpected point-of-view our viewers want and need to hear. On air and on all platforms, Current is media that matters.

Current is now available via cable and satellite TV in 75 million households worldwide – 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), and in Italy, Current is available on Sky Italia (Channel 130). Viewers can also find Current online at www.current.com.

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