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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

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).

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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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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Al Gore To Make TV Rounds To Promote Book That Trashes TV News

Former Vice President Al Gore, who sold Current TV to Al Jazeera a few weeks back, is about to make a round of TV appearances. The appearances are ostensibly tied to the release of his new book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, but viewers should expect the Current TV sale to play a big part in the conversations.

Gore is currently slated to appear on NBC’s “Today” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman“ on Tuesday, and “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart Wednesday.

The appearances are particularly interesting, as Gore trashes television news in the book, as noted by New York Times book reviewer Michiko Kakutani.

He also complains that “virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies — not just during campaign seasons, but all the time, year in and year out — with messages designed to sooth and reassure the audience that everything is fine, the global environment is not threatened, and the carbon companies are working diligently to further develop renewable energy sources.”

Such remarks serve to remind the reader of a business deal Mr. Gore recently made that has ignited charges of hypocrisy and greed: selling Current TV (a channel he helped to found in 2005) for an estimated $500 million to Al Jazeera, the influential Arab news giant, which is financed by the government of oil- and gas-rich Qatar. Mr. Gore, who will reportedly make about $100 million from the deal, describes Al Jazeera in this book as “feisty and relatively independent.”

(h/t Brian Stelter on the Times review)

Geraldo Rivera’s Al Gore Story

On “The O’Reilly Factor” last night, Geraldo Rivera spoke to Bill O’Reilly about the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera, and shared a story about running into Al Gore.

The year was 2006, and Gore and comedian Al Franken (who is new Senator Franken) were in the lobby of the News Corp, building in New York. Rivera knew Gore, and had interviewed him in his prior jobs.

“I run into the vice president with Al Franken by his side, and he looks me up and down and said, ‘look where you ended up.’ As if to say to me, my goodness how could you possibly sell out to go work here for Fox News,” Rivera recalled. “And I said I am still the same guy, and the Vice President says to me in a very tsk tsk condescending way, ‘I guess you will never bite the hands that feeds you.’”

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