When I told my 7 year old I had decided to leave, she laid on the sofa for an hour crying that she’d never see Anderson Cooper again. She’s never actually met Anderson Cooper. But I have and I’ll miss him and his team and I’ll miss Wolf and his team, and all the other terrific people I’ve worked with these last three years. I deeply regret never working up the courage to pull on Wolf’s beard.
For all those liberals who lost money thinking Keith Olbermann would outlast me at Current TV, well, sorry.
Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’
Keith Olbermann has given a significant donation to WVBR-FM, the Cornell University radio station, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The donation was enough to give Olbermann naming rights for the new location.
Olbermann’s gift will allow WVBR – a commercial radio station run entirely by Cornell students – to move into a new, bigger facility much closer to the Cornell campus. The new building on East Buffalo Street in Ithaca will be named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios, after Olbermann’s late father Theodore Olbermann and Glenn Corneliess, a former program director at the station and a friend of Olbermann’s who died in 1996 at 39.
The amount Olbermann made has not been made public, but the fundraising goal of $935,000 now stands at $555,081. The new, bigger location will include a multimedia center for training in video production, web design and online programming. Other notable WVBR alums include NBC News anchor Kate Snow and CNBC senior producer Peter Schacknow.
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.
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.
Chris Matthews is an MSNBC original. His show “Hardball” is older than the network itself, having begun its run on the old “America’s Talking” channel founded by Roger Ailes before moving to CNBC and then MSNBC. Despite approaching his 20th anniversary with NBC, Matthews is considered “the model figure” for the new MSNBC. His boss, network president Phil Griffin tells the AP’s David Bauder Matthews is, “as good as he’s ever been” and “is sort of the model figure for who we are.” Bauder writes,
Matthews symbolized MSNBC’s growing comfort in being a liberal alternative to Fox News Channel. With Keith Olbermann out of sight, Matthews essentially replaced him as the commentator that most annoyed conservative viewers.
“During the run-up to the Iraq War, he just became really, really partisan and became even more so when MSNBC decided to become the anti-Fox,” said Geoff Dickens, who used to watch Matthews as a fan and now monitors him regularly as part of his job with the conservative Media Research Center.
Griffin, who produced “Hardball” for many years before moving on to other jobs at NBC/MSNBC, knows Matthews better than most. Matthews “is at a place in his life where he’s really comfortable in his own skin,” says Griffin. “He’s a statesman.”
About that idea of running for Senate four years ago. Matthews recently said he would have been “one of the stars of the Democratic Party,” had he run and won. But being a party guy might have worn on him quickly. Matthews tells Bauder: “I never want to do what everybody else is doing. I don’t want to be part of the chorus.”
And now that he’s on Current TV, even with its small share of viewers, Press said he sees an opportunity for his brand to really flourish.
Current TV’s executive vice president of programming Shelley Lewis said Press “was one of the first people we thought of when we were ready to expand our programming line up.”
“The fact that he gave us a high-profile presence in Washington was a factor. But there are lots of people doing radio or TV shows in Washington,” Lewis said. “Bill is a standout — he’s so smart, so connected, so passionately progressive and so much fun to listen to and watch.”
One of the big challenges facing Press (and Current TV) is that the liberal networks has failed to attract any sort of meaningful viewership since the departure of Keith Olbermann.
Former MSNBC and Current TV host Keith Olbermann is returning to the host’s chair, this time on MLB Network.
Olbermann will be a guest-host on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” next Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9-11 AM ET. Olbermann phoned into the program this morning to talk about the MLB MVP races with Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian, and to preview next week’s shows. He was in-studio yesterday as part of a panel discussion on the American League MVP.
Olbermann will be joined by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny next week.
Olbermann is a huge sports fan, and a former contributor to Fox Sports and NBC’s NFL pregame show. He was also of course part of “The Big Show” with Dan Patrick, that helped turn ESPN’s “SportsCenter” into the juggernaut it is. He currently writes the “Baseball Nerd” blog for MLB.com.
After the jump, check out mediabistroTV’s tour of the MLB Network Studios, which, ironically, are located in MSNBC’s old Secaucus, New Jersey studios, a place Olbermann knows well.
The New York Post‘s Claire Atkinson and Emily Smith report that Current TV is up for sale. The network is seeking out a company that can help guide any prospective inquiries, according to a statement from Current CEO Joel Hyatt.
“Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company,” CEO Joel Hyatt told The Post. “This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence, we thought it might be useful to engage expertise to help us evaluate our strategic options.”
Current has struggled mightily in the ratings, even with its coverage of the political conventions and Presidential debates. The channel re-branded as a liberal talk network with the addition of Keith Olbermann last year, and his show was the channel’s highest-rated. Since Olbermann was fired by Current earlier this year, none of its primetime shows have been able to click with viewers.
Forbes‘ Jeff Bercovici writes about former MSNBC and Current TV host Keith Olbermann, who is out there looking for work after Current TV cut him loose earlier this year. Bercovici cites people familiar with the matter as saying that Olbermann “has expressed interest in taking over as anchor of existing shows and in starting a new show.”
He is somewhat vague about what networks Olbermann’s people have reached out to, but you can read between the lines.
You might suspect that Olbermann would be steering clear of NBC Universal in his job hunt, given his acrimonious history with that company, and you’d be right, at least as far as I’ve heard. Among the networks he’s approached are ones owned by Viacom and AMC Networks, two conglomerates he has yet to quarrel with.
The AMC network is likely IFC, which has re-branded of late as a home for quirky, liberal comedy. As for Viacom, the safest bets are Comedy Central, which is home to “The Daily Show and “Colbert Report” and which has been considering adding a midnight program for years, and Spike TV, which has also been looking into late night shows. I would add Showtime to that mix, which is looking to build out its sports programming, and does not have a topical political show like HBO does in “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
Former Current TV and MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has remained active on Twitter since being booted from the cable network earlier this year, but he hasn’t really done any video work.
That changed late last night when Olbermann uploaded a “special comment” regarding the leak of a of a video featuring Mitt Romney talking to Republican donors. Much briefer than the comments he was known for at MSNBC and Current, the latest video is, well, just watch: