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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore

Al-Jazeera-America304It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied against them by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. They countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt back today.

The Associated Press reports the cable news network, which launched last year after buying Current TV from Gore, is suing over money being held in an escrow account.

The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore and Hyatt agreed to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV, but didn’t live up to their promise. It accuses the pair of “misrepresentations” and says they received hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale.

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Al Gore Suing Al Jazeera Over Current TV Sale

GoreBloomberg reports former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera over the $500 million deal to purchase his former network Current TV in 2013.

“Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago,” David Boies, a lawyer for Gore, said in a statement today. “We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.”

“Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson tells TVNewser. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.”

Al Jazeera America marks its one-year anniversary this coming Wednesday.

Keith Olbermann: Current TV Co-Founder And Former VP Al Gore Was a ‘Clod’

Soon-to-be ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann is the subject of a lengthy profile by THR’s Marisa Guthrie. Olbermann talks about how he came to join ESPN, repairing the bridges he “napalmed” the last time he was there, and also his rather tumultuous end at Current TV.

Guthrie also reveals that ESPN was talking to NBC’s Seth Meyers about hosting a late-night show, until he inked the “Late Night” gig at NBC, and that Olbermann met with ABC News president Ben Sherwood as his time at Current neared a close.

Then there are his comments on his former boss, Vice President Al Gore. THR teases it right at the top of the story, “there is name-calling.”

“When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.”

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NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Is Engaged

NBC’s “Today” broke some news about itself this morning, as co-anchor Savannah Guthrie revealed that was she became engaged over the weekend to Mike Feldman, a managing director and political adviser at the Glover Park Group, and a former adviser to Vice President Al Gore.

Matt Lauer broke the news on-air at 7:11 AM (see below), with actor Bradley Cooper dropping by a bit later to give Guthrie flowers (video of that after the jump).

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Al Gore, Current TV and Rupert Murdoch’s $200 Million ‘Gift’

Former Vice President and Current TV co-founder Al Gore gets a pair of profiles today. First Bloomberg takes a shot at estimating his net worth, and comes up with a number around $200 million. The company estimates that he made around $70 million from the Current TV sale to Al Jazeera.

New York magazine talks to Gore, who discusses buying and selling Current, and his surprising relationship with news Crop. CEO Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch had no interest in Gore’s plan to upend the media paradigm. But Gore’s timing was excellent. “Rupert is a smart guy,” Gore tells me. “This was a great opportunity for him to demonstrate that he was not interested in consolidating his control of DirecTV just to launch an ideological jihad.” As proof, “he could say, ‘Hey, I put Al Gore’s channel on.’ That was something that would work for him. It would certainly work for me.”

“Wait a second, Al,” Murdoch said. “You guys are here because you want to know if you buy NWI whether I’ll kick you off. I can assure you we are not going to do that.”

On the spot, Murdoch agreed to a ten-year extension. Over ten years, it amounted to a “gift” of about $200 million, as DirecTV’s execs later said.

On selling to Al Jazeera:
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Keith Olbermann Lawsuit Advances, Gore Keeps Deflecting Current Criticism

The Keith Olbermann-Current TV dustup continues to move forward. Olbermann gave testimony earlier this month about his deal with Current, and why he believed the channel was in breach of contract. Deadline has the (heavily redacted) filings, but there are still some things we can glean.

Olbermann argues that Current disparaged him to his staff and the press, and revealed confidential contract information. He also claims that his likeness was used in an ad for AT&T without his approval, and that he was not given control of the politics specials. He also blames Current for not letting “Countdown” stream online (though carriage agreements with cable operators prevented it) and for not seeking permission when naming guest-hosts for the program.

Meanwhile, at SXSW, a digital conference in Austin, Texas, Current founder Al Gore was interviewed by AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg about the Current TV/Al Jazeera deal. Things got testy:
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Al Gore Sued Over Current TV Sale

Former Vice President and Current TV co-founder Al Gore is being sued over the recent sale of the company to Al Jazeera. The most explosive allegation is that Gore was reluctant to sell the company to the media company financed by the oil-rich nation of Qatar, but that he was persuaded.

It was filed by a media consultant who claimed that he came up with the idea for Al Jazeera to acquire Current, but was cut out of the final deal.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Eriq Gardner has the details:

What happened next likely will generate much conversation given that Gore has made the media rounds defending the sale. According to the lawsuit, “Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Gore was adamant in his rejection of the proposal to sell his liberal, environmentally friendly network to the oil-rich Quataris who owned Al Jazeera. Apparently, Gore had a change of heart.”

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Jon Stewart’s Aggressive Interview With Al Gore

Al Gore continues making the rounds for his new book. But what most interviewers want to know about is the sale of Current TV which, as a co-owner, he orchestrated. Earlier this week on NBC’s “Today,” Matt Lauer pressed Gore about the sale to Al Jazeera which is owned by the royal family of Qatar, whose wealth is derived from oil.

Gore mostly dodged the questions on “Today,” but on “The Daily Show” last night, Jon Stewart kept on him, getting Gore to reveal that the new Al Jazeera network will keep some programming from Current, and will be commercial-free.

Update: Current emails us top let us know that the new channel will not be commercial-free, so Gore was misinformed.

It starts to heat up around six minutes in:

The Afternoon Ticker: Shenfield, Obama, Gore

  • David Shenfield has been named Director of Talent for the ABC/Univision joint venture. Shenfield has worked at RNN, “Live with Regis and Kelly,” “CBS Early Show” and iVillage Live. He’ll be the point person for bringing on air and behind the scenes talent to the new channel.

  • Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas got a sit-down with President Obama today to discuss immigration reform and other topics relevant to the Hispanic community. The interview airs tonight and tomorrow night on Noticiero Univision.

  • Al Gore continues to make the media rounds. The former Vice President and former co-owner of Current TV will be on PBS Newshour tomorrow night to discuss his new book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

Al Gore: Media Critic

Early this week President Obama took some shots at the media, and now, as former Vice President Al Gore begins his book tour, he is taking his own shots. Gore went on “Today” this morning, and will also be appearing on “The Late Show” tonight and “The Daily Show” tomorrow.

In a two-part interview with Matt Lauer on “Today,” Gore responded to criticisms over his sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, and took a shot at horse race coverage of elections.

When asked about selling Current to a network funded largely by oil money, Gore responded:

“I certainly understand that criticism, but I disagree with it, because I think that Al Jazeera has long since established itself as a really distinguished and effective newsgathering organization.”

When asked about the 2016 Presidential race, and whether he thought Joe Biden would run, this interesting exchange took place:

“I do genuinely believe that just a week after we inaugurated President Obama, it is premature to get into the horse race,” Gore said.

“Have you seen TV news? This is what we do,” Lauer responded.

“That is also part of something we need to challenge,” Gore said.

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