It was just over a year ago that former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced he was joining Current TV, and today, that relationship officially came to an end. According to the New York Times‘ Brian Stelter, Olbermann is out at Current, and will be replaced by former CNN host and New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. Spitzer will take over the 8 PM slot starting tonight.
Update: Current CEO Joel Hyatt and co-founder Al Gore released a statement about the move.
Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.
The full letter is after the jump.
Update 2: Olbermann has released his own statement via Twitter, saying that he plans to file suit against the network.
I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt to resolve our issues internally,while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.
Olbermann’s full statement is after the jump.
Olbermann famously announced that he would be leaving his MSNBC program on a Friday night last January. He inked a deal with Current soon thereafter.
Olbermann was given an equity stake in Current as part of his deal. It is not yet clear whether he will retain that stake, or whether Current will buy him out.
In an interview with mediabistro.com earlier this month, Hyatt hinted that the network would be adding more former public officials to Current’s lineup, such as Spitzer:
We’re going to look for practitioners of public policy, like Jennifer Granholm. We’ll soon be naming others in that category, people who have actually done the hard work of public service and who are very committed to it, who understand it from the inside. They know spin when they hear it; they know BS when they hear it; they can stand up to it because they’ve been there and done that.
The announcement of Spitzer’s new show is also after the jump.