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Posts Tagged ‘Markos Moulitsas’

Olbermann Goes Over an Hour on Current to Take on MSNBC, But Carriage Deals Thwart Online Video Plan

Last night on his newly-launched “Countdown” on Current TV, Keith Olbermann took the opportunity to bleed over into the 9 PM hour during an interview with Markos Moulitsas. As The Huffington Post spotted, Olbermann took to Twitter to note that he and MSNBC are now effectively in competition, and keeping viewers on Current for a few extra minutes is fair game, just as having Rachel Maddow on the end of Lawrence O’Donnell‘s show is fair game.

Whether the extra few minutes will make any difference is up to debate. Joe Flint at the LA Times argues that all it will do is piss off viewers.

Those few extra minutes also revealed a potential problem for “Countdown.” Because Current is a small, independently-owned cable channel, the carriage deals it has with cable and satellite distributors are not as forgiving as the larger networks like MSNBC or CNN.

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For Keith Olbermann, Return of ‘Countdown’ Just Phase One of Current TV Transformation

Tonight at 8 PM on Current TV, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will return to television, re-launching his program “Countdown” on the cable network founded by former Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt.

For Olbermann, the new “Countdown” is not just a fresh beginning for himself, it is a fresh beginning for the network, which he clearly plans on turning into a direct competitor to MSNBC.

“We are gearing towards eventually becoming a 24-hour news, commentary, analysis and information network,” Olbermann told reporters on a conference call Friday. That is a stark contrast to what Current laid out earlier this year at its upfront presentation, which looked to be part MSNBC, part Discovery Channel. With Olbermann helming 8 PM, and looking to add more hours of news and commentary programming in primetime, the entertainment shows may eventually fade away.

MSNBC is not taking the threat from Current lightly. The NY Times Brian Stelter reports that MSNBC has been paying up to secure deals with contributors, and is developing a new show for Nation writer Chris Hayes. Meanwhile Olbermann has been securing contributors to his show, though many of the bigger names are unlikely to have exclusivity clauses. For his first show Olbermann will host filmmaker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas.

Olbermann says the most appealing part of the new program is not having to worry about corporate bosses peering over his shoulder:

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Keith Olbermann Opens Up About Leaving MSNBC

Former MSNBC host and soon-to-be Current TV host Keith Olbermann is back in the spotlight, with a cover story in this week’s Hollywood Reporter, along with a feature in Rolling Stone.

For the first time, Olbermnann talks about leaving MSNBC, while also promoting his new show on Current. Olbermann also announced that another former MSNBCer, David Shuster, will be serving as the primary fill-in anchor for “Countdown” on Current.

Olbermann tells the Reporter that he has not spoken to Rachel Maddow since he left MSNBC, and that when he began his last show in January, he was not even certain it would be his last:

In fact, when Olbermann went on air at 8 p.m. EST on January 21, neither he nor his staff knew this was his final broadcast. Olbermann had prepared two endings for the show; one with two readings from James Thurber, and another with a Thurber reading and his farewell to viewers. “As far as anybody knew,” says Olbermann. “I was doing the two Thurber stories.” Meanwhile, huddled off camera at Countdown’s Studio 1A Up, above the Today show’s Studio 1A, were Olbermann’s representatives (two ICM agents and Michael Price, Olbermann’s manager) and MSNBC president Phil Griffin and an NBC lawyer. At the 8:30 p.m. break, the parties agreed to release Olbermann out of his contract and he told his staff for the first time.

Olbermann also talks about his payday (THR cites a source that says it is $10 mil a year, in addition to the money MSNBC still owes him, as well as equity in Current) and a meeting he had with CBS CEO Les Moonves. He  also says that contributors like Michael Moore and Markos Moulitsas will be compensated in “untraditional ways.”

In the Rolling Stone interview, Olbermann pulls out a note Tom Brokaw sent to him, a note he received a few months before the former “NBC Nightly News” anchor criticized him:

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Michael Moore, Ken Burns Tapped as Contributors for Keith Olbermann’s Current TV Show

“Countdown” will return to TV on Current June 20, and host Keith Olbermann is lining up a stable of contributors to appear regularly on the program.

TVNewser has learned that filmmaker Michael Moore, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, comedian Richard Lewis, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas and National Association of Free Clinics executive director Nicole D. Lamoureux are among those on board as contributors.

Update: Olbermann just tweeted that he expects to have around 20 regular contributors in total. More to be announced at a later date.

Update 2: It’s Official, announcement from Current TV after the jump.

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Things the New York Giants Watch

Secretariat. Really?

Call us crazy, but we really can’t see the New York Giants getting excited about watching a movie staring a horse on their cross-country flight, even if it is unusual. According to the New York Post, “although this film is currently in first-run theaters – which means normally it would not be available to be shown on a charter flight – a special request was made to Disney through actress Kate Mara.”

We’re talking about a football team comprised of grown men not some pee-wee squad on a bus trip, right? At least the G-Men will have an excuse if they come out flat against the Seattle Seahawks.

Brett Favre Is Tired of Coverage About Brett Favre

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre wasn’t a fan of the media coverage surrounding his return in August, taking his frustration to the airwaves on Wednesday.

During an interview with Sirius NFL Radio, Favre said the media was paying him too much attention:

“First and foremost, today’s game, today’s society, it’s a media frenzy world and nothing goes untouched or un-talked about. I quietly — I thought quietly — this offseason tried to make my decision. I had surgery. Of course, once we got months before camp the media started camping out at the gate. I never asked them to come. I never asked them to talk about it.”

So, Rachel Nichols camping out on your front yard in Mississippi is overkill? You don’t say, Brett.

Favre also claims he wasn’t trying to drag out his decision to come back for his 20th season in order to generate more media coverage:

“If we had a crystal ball it would be a lot easier but that’s not the case. I can’t help what people say about me, good or bad. The thing for me is I really don’t pay attention to it. I understand people are talking and forming opinions and speculating and things like that but I think the guys on this team would speak for me and friends and family that know the situation would say the same thing. I can’t expect anyone to understand it, wouldn’t do me any good to even try to explain it to people. So I just try to make the right decision and do the best with that decision.”

While the media might be guilty of over kill when it comes to all things Favre, the 40-year-old gunslinger has to share the blame.

Retire. Unretire. Retire. Unretire. Retire. Private jet with three teammates. Unretire.

Do you see a pattern here?

I’ll have a room ready at the Holiday Inn in Hattiesburg for next July, because we all know Favre and the media will go through the same song-and-dance routine next summer.

Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas ‘Blacklisted’ from MSNBC

kos_7-7.jpgFollowing a twitter dust-up between “Morning Joe” anchor Joe Scarborough and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, MSNBC President Phil Griffin has stepped in and asked his staff to “take a break from booking [Moulitsas] on our shows for a while.”

In late May, Moulitsas responded to Scarborough’s tweets about Joe Sestak by tweeting, “Like story of a certain dead intern. RT @JoeNBC: Luckily for the White House, the media has been negligent on this story since Day 1.”

Scarborough took exception to the remark — which references the tragic 2001 death of former staffer Lori Klausutiswriting, “Unbelievable. You have a long history of spreading lies suggesting I am a murderer. This is the 3rd or 4th time by my count.” (Full exchange here as well as Moulitsas’ account of the story.)

“I found the comments to be in poor taste, and utterly uncalled for in a civil discourse,” Griffin wrote in an email to Moulitsas. “I’m hoping this will be only temporary and that the situation can be resolved in a mature fashion, but until then I just don’t know how one could reasonably expect to be welcomed onto our network while publicly antagonizing one of our hosts at the same time.”

It’s unclear how long the “blacklist” will last, but with Moulitsas claiming in his response that the president of the network “lets Scarborough call the shots” probably won’t win him back an invitation anytime soon. For now, Moulitsas claims he’s “often uncomfortable” on television and, in part, “would be grateful” if he never appeared on TV again. “I did as much MSNBC as I did because I like and respect Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz,” he wrote.

The full email from Griffin to Kos after the jump.

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Fmr. Congressman Walks off MSNBC Set

On Friday’s “Ed Show’, with David Shuster filling in, former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo took offense to something said by Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas as the two discussed healthcare reform. It ended with Tancredo taking off his mic, and leaving the set.

“The congressman is always welcome on the show,” said Shuster. “We always appreciate hearing his point of view, it’s a feisty one and that’s what we like around here.”