Current TV sent out a reminder email this afternoon about their Iowa coverage tonight., which, as Brian Stelter first reported last week, does not include their all-star anchor Keith Olbermann:
Tonight, Tuesday, January 3rd at 7pm EST, Politically Direct 2012: 2012 Iowa Caucus will air live on Current TV and include four hours of live coverage of the caucuses featuring commentary and analysis from former Vice President and Current TV co-founder Al Gore, “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” host Cenk Uygur, and former Michigan Governor and host of the upcoming week-nightly program “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” (premiering in January) Jennifer Granholm.
But that doesn’t mean Olbermann is off the clock, as he told a viewer on Twitter this afternoon:
Question unanswered. So will Olbermann appear as part of coverage? Guess will just have to watch and see.
Despite being the cornerstone of Current TV’s progressive primetime, and its biggest star, it appears Keith Olbermann won’t be a part of the network’s Iowa Caucus or New Hampshire Primary coverage. NYT’s Brian Stelterhas the scoop.
Instead, Current’s other prime time anchors, Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm, will be joined by the channel’s chairman, the former vice president Al Gore, according to the channel’s TV schedule.
Uygur was the beneficiary of Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC less than a year ago as well. In the programming shuffle that ensued, Uygur got the 6pm timeslot. Stelter reports Uygur, not Olbermann, also hosted two special reports following GOP debates earlier this month.
These absences suggest that there may be new tension between Mr. Olbermann and the managers at Current, who are trying to create a progressive-oriented cable news channel. In the television industry, Mr. Olbermann is well known for fights with his bosses; stories abound about his refusal to speak to managers and executives. At Current, this behavior has continued, according to four people with knowledge of the situation, one of whom described Mr. Olbermann as “disgruntled.”
Current TV has lined up its production team for its next primetime program, “The Young Turks.” Steve Lange has been named EP of the show, with Roland Woerner serving as senior producer and Genji Keen as director. Cenk Uygur is the primary host of the program, though he will be joined by his “TYT” colleagues Jesus Godoy, Ana Kasparian, Jayar Jackson and Dave Koller during the show.
Lange was previously a VP for the NBC O&O in Los Angeles, and has served as EP of the syndicated entertainment news show “Extra.”
“Steve, Roland and Genji all share Cenk’s passion for telling it like it is. This is a seasoned group of television veterans who bring years of expertise to the table and will be able to deliver a first-class, multi-platform production, live, each and every night,” said Current president David Bohrman in a statement. “We couldn’t be more pleased about having them join the Current TV family as we launch an ambitious roster of nightly programming that is sure to be a conversation starter in the coming election year.”
For Current TV, the addition of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to the primetime lineup was an easy decision.
“When Joel [Hyatt] and I sat down with her and sort of began a conversation, we were blown away at the way she lit up the room and, frankly, took charge,” Current TV President David Bohrman said on a conference call announcing the show Wednesday afternoon.
Granholm’s “The War Room” is the finishing touch, at least for now, on a primetime schedule that includes Cenk Uygur at 7 p.m.ET/PT and Keith Olbermann at 8 p.m.ET/CT. Bohrman called it “the best primetime lineup, starting this January going into the election year, that can be found on television.”
“Our three competitors are about breaking news, and we’re about fixing it,” Current TV CEO Joel Hyatt added. “We believe we’re going to have the intelligent, insightful, experienced commentators who can do that. And all the early signals are that there’s a large audience waiting for it.” Read more
Current TV has made yet another addition to the network’s primetime lineup, announcing today that former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will host a 9 p.m.ET/PT program called “The War Room” beginning in January 2012.
Granholm, who is a frequent contributor to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said in a statement “The War Room” will be a “nightly show for political junkies like me,” adding: “Democrats will love it. The far right will hate it. Those in the middle will appreciate it. I can’t wait to get started.”
“The War Room” will follow “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” which airs at 8 p.m.ET/PT. “Countdown,” which was the first and is currently the only live primetime program on the network, debuted in June. It has struggled in the ratings due to a number of factors: Current TV has less distribution, and less prominent channel placement, than its cable competitors. The show also currently has no lead-in or lead-out programming.
In November, Current TV will launch “The Young Turks,” hosted by former MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur, as a lead-in to “Countdown.” Granholm’s show, which will be based in San Francisco, will cap off the primetime lineup.
The official announcement from Current TV is after the jump. Read more
Erin Burnett flanked by her CNN bosses, EVP and managing editor Mark Whitaker, left, and EVP in charge of CNN Ken Jautz, right.
We’re thinking CNN’s Erin Burnett is eying a large Margarita when she gets of the air at 8pm tonight. Maybe during the show. Maybe right now.
Her premiere week — at least from where the critics stand — was not good. As for the ratings, more on that in a minute.
It was about :30 seconds, of a three minute story, in her (so far) four hours of programs on CNN. But if you printed out the criticism of Burnett’s coverage Monday from Occupy Wall Street, it could stretch from one end of Zuccotti Park to the other.
“Erin Burnett was way too dismissive and condescending of these protesters,” wrote Forbes’ Eric Jackson, who, 24 hours after posting his story, Tweeted that his take on Burnett was his 8th most popular story ever on Forbes.com.
The pile-on was swift.
From theBaltimore Sun‘s David Zurawik: “Burnett’s problem runs much deeper from what I have seen — it runs straight through to the persona, if not the person herself.”
Variety‘s Brian Lowerywrites: “Burnett does appear to have been a terrible choice for her new role, on a program oddly titled ‘Erin Burnett OutFront.’ Out front of what, exactly?”
Salon’s Glenn Greenwaldcalled Burnett, a “spokesperson for Wall Street; it’s basically what her ‘journalistic’ career is.”
After all the criticismAtlantic Wire‘s Adam Clarke Estes got this statement from CNN: “We support Erin and the OutFront team and we respect that there will be a range of opinions on any given story.”
Burnett and crew couldn’t even catch a break on the title of segment they like to call “Seriously!” Watch this NYMag.com clip for more on that. MediaMatters thinks Burnett should apologize.
Don’t count on it. We hear the plan is full-steam ahead; taking pride in what else happened during her debut week: interviews with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; talking politics with GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and women’s health issues with model Christy Turlington.
Earlier today, Current TV announced that former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur would be bringing his web series “The Young Turks” to the channel. In a interview this afternoon, Uygur said the move was something of a no-brainer:
“It was the most obvious thing in the world,” Uygur told TVNewser. “They are independent, so I knew we wouldn’t have some of the issues we had in other places, and they are clearly progressive.”
Uygur also says that serving as Current’s primetime kickoff show is a good place to be:
“I am happy to be at 7 o clock because there is no other progressive at 7 o clock on television, so it kind of leaves the field to me,” he says
As we first reported over the weekend, Cenk Uygur is no longer hosting the 6pm show on MSNBC, in fact he’s done with MSNBC. Late yesterday, from his Young Turks studio, Uygur announced, “I am OUT at MSNBC.”
In an 12-minute explanation Uygur pulls back the curtain into the world of cable news: too many hand gestures, two different audiences, and the “force storms” he tried to get beyond.
MSNBC was prepared to offer Uygur a different role. “They offered a lot of money for that different role,” claims Uygur.
“Cenk’s claims are completely baseless,” an MSNBC spokesperson tells us. “In fact, we were working on a new contract, to develop him into an even bigger television talent. We did have numerous conversations with Cenk about his style, not substance.” It was a weekend show, and contributor role, we hear.
Back in January at the NATPE conference, Uygur told TVNewser how he was thrust onto the MSNBC schedule in the wake of Keith Olbermann‘s departure. “Of course, I’m going to play by whatever rules are in that medium,” Uygur told us then. “If some of them concern me, I’ll take it up with whoever I should take it up with.”
“It’s unfortunate that he’s decided to depart in such a negative fashion,” the MSNBC spokesperson adds.
Al Sharpton, who has been hosting for the last three weeks, will continue at 6pm as a more formal deal is worked out.
Uygur also took questions about his departure. That video after the jump…