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Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

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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After Al Jazeera Acquisition, The Future of Current TV Hosts Up In The Air

With Al Jazeera’s purchase of Current TV complete, speculation has turned to what it means for Current’s lineup of hosts.

So far, only one on-air personality has announced their plans. Jennifer Granholm, who hosts “The War Room.” will continue on for a little while more before leaving the network in the Spring.

“We’ll continue to broadcast The War Room for the next few weeks through the transition, but after that I’ll be going back to teaching, speaking and other things,” Granholm wrote on Facebook.

In a video on The Young Turks YouTube channel, Cenk Uygur says that he hopes to continue hosting the TV program of the same name on the new Al Jazeera network, but that it isn’t clear whether the new owners will want to keep the show.

“It is an interesting question, and one which I do not have the answers to,” Uygur said. Regardless of what happens, he says The Young Turks will always be on their original YouTube channel.

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Cable News Talks Current TV Sale

The sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera has also been making waves on competing cable news channels. On Fox News, the bulk of the coverage has been anti-Al Gore and anti Al Jazeera, while CNN took a more analytical approach.

On “The O’Reilly Factor,” Bill O’Reilly dedicated his “Talking Points” to Gore “The Hypocrite,” for trying to sell the network by December 31 in order to take advantage of tax rates.


“On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren took a similar approach (watch here), as did “Fox & Friends” this morning.

CNN hosted Brian Stelter, who broke the story of the sale, and Howard Kurtz, to analyze the move.

Al Gore, Current TV’s ‘Closer’

The New York TimesBrian Stelter has the definitive tick-tock on how Current TV managed to become so big ($100 million in annual revenue) and how the sale to Al Jazeera was finalized. The big takeaway: Current co-founder and former Vice President Al Gore used his muscle to get deals done. One of the most important deals, and the one that arguably helped Current the most, came from News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch:

In a meeting in New York, Mr. Gore leaned on Mr. Murdoch for an extended contract with a lucrative per-subscriber fee.

Mr. Gore asserted that DirecTV should carry a “diverse set of news sources.”

The resulting contract guaranteed Current roughly 10 cents per subscriber per month and helped Mr. Gore secure the financing he needed to acquire Newsworld. It also laid the groundwork for similar extensions with smaller distributors.

That’s why Current, despite having one of the puniest audiences of any widely distributed cable channel, was able to post annual revenue of about $100 million.

Al Jazeera Weighs Its Options, As It Completes Current TV Acquisition

The deal is done. Al Jazeera has completed its acquisition of Current TV, and will re-brand the channel after a transition period from Current TV.

The new channel will not be Al Jazeera English, the company’s English-language news outlet, but rather a new, U.S.-based network. The channel is tentatively being called Al Jazeera America, but a source close to the company says that it isn’t wedded to the name, and may try to create a new brand. One of the options being considered, according to our source, is calling the channel “beIN,” or “beIN News,” to make it mesh with Al Jazeera’s beIN Sport network, which already has some U.S. distribution.

The impetus for the fresh name would stem from Al Jazeera’s brand in the U.S., which, while strong with journalists in New York and DC, is decidedly mixed across the rest of the country.

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NY Times: Al Jazeera Finalizing Deal To Acquire Current TV

Qatar-based Al Jazeera is in final negotiations to acquire Current TV, the cable channel co-founded and operated by former Vice President Al Gore and his business partner Joel Hyatt, according to Brian Stelter in the New York Times. Current TV has distribution in 60 million homes, giving Al Jazeera a large and immediate U.S. footprint

The result will be a new channel, not simply a simulcast of Al Jazeera English, the company’s English-language cable news outlet. As for Current TV’s current slate of staffers and shows, the future remains unclear, but likely grim.

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its existing English-language channel, called Al Jazeera English and based in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in New York, according to people with knowledge of the deal negotiations. Potentially called Al Jazeera America, roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera may absorb some Current TV staff members, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But Current’s schedule of shows will most likely be dissolved in the spring.

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The Afternoon Ticker: Leveson, Behar, Damon

  • Current TV’s Joy Behar will host a benefit event for the victims of Hurricane Sandy Friday, December 14. Current TV founder Al Gore and comedian Andy Borowitz are among those that will appear. The benefit will air on Current.
  • CNN’s Arwa Damon is returning to Syria to report on the ongoing battle between rebel fighters and government forces there. It will Damon’s second trip to Syria this year. Her latest report is here.

The Evening Ticker: iVillage, Gore, Pundits

  • iVillage.com is moving from NBC’s digital entertainment group to NBC’s digital news group. iVillage will now be overseen by NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller, who also oversees NBCNews.com, TheGrio.com, NBCLatino.com and other sites.
  • Former Vice President and current Current TV chairman Al Gore will be on The Weather Channel’s “Wake Up with Al” tomorrow morning. Gore will be talking about climate change, specifically his upcoming event “24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report.”
  • Beware political pundits, a new site is looking to hold you accountable for your predictions. “Pundit Shaming” takes predictions from TV pundits that were hopelessly wrong, and brings them back to center-stage so everyone remembers just how wrong they were.

The Moments People Talked About From Last Night’s Coverage

With s0 many networks covering the election, you are bound to miss some memorable moments. Here are a few of the things that happened last night during coverage that lit up social media.

On Fox News, Karl Rove openly and aggressively disagreed with the network’s call that President Obama would win Ohio, spurring a visit to the “decision desk” by Megyn Kelly. Rove would be proven wrong.


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More Election Night Coverage Plans

The typical broadcasters and cable news channels aren’t the only ones covering tomorrow’s Presidential election  Here are some of the other coverage highlights from other cable channels, and online.

C-SPAN: Will simulcast “Politico Live” from 7 PM until the acceptance/concession speeches begin, when it shifts over to C-SPAN 2 until midnight. C-SPAN will also air all speeches, as well as updates from key state races.

Comedy Central: “The Daily Show” and “Colbert Report” will be live Tuesday night from 11PM-12AM, with special coverage called ”Election Night 2012: This Ends Now” and “Election 2012: A Nation Votes, Ohio Decides; The Re-Presidenting of America: Who Will Replace Obama? ‘012!”Andrew Sullivan will be a guest, and “Daily Show” correspondents will report “from the show’s on-set Obama and Romney headquarters and election center.”

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