Al Jazeera, the Arab news network, is reportedly nearing a deal to take over Current TV, the struggling cable network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore in 2005. According to the New York Times’ Brian Stelter, who was first to report on the potential deal, acquiring Current would give the Middle Eastern news channel access to 60 million of the 100 million American homes that get cable or satellite TV.
Update (8:44 p.m.): Current TV founder co-founder Joel Hyatt confirmed Al Jazeera will purchase the network in an email to staff this evening.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s pet TV project, Current TV, is in the news for all the wrong reasons these days. Current, which Mr. Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt seek to turn into a rival to the likes of MSNBC, just fired firebrand Keith Olbermann for, well, being Keith Olbermann, and Mr. Olbermann will likely sue them for the pleasure. Now Reuters reports via “three sources with knowledge of the situation” that Current may not meet Time Warner Cable’s “minimum threshold” for average number of viewers per quarter:
Al Gore’s upstart progressive cable news network Current TV has fired marquee anchor Keith Olbermann, The New York Times reports. Starting Friday, his 8 p.m. Countdown slot will be filled by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, with a new show called Viewpoint.
According to the Times, Current management “unanimously” agreed that Mr. Olbermann had failed to honor the terms of his five-year, $50 million contract, giving them the right to give him the boot. After declining to speak to the Times, Mr. Olbermann slammed network executives Mr. Gore and Joel Hyatt on Twitter, saying they had fired him unethically and he would seek legal recourse.
Al Gore’s lefty cable news network Current TV has added another program to its lineup: The War Room with Jennifer Granholm. Ms. Granholm is the former Governor of Michigan and, yes, a Democrat.
The hour-long show will be produced live in San Francisco and will air at 9 p.m., after Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
“The War Read More
Occupy Wall Street
At first, the media considered the Occupy Wall Street protest a non-story; then it became a running joke. Now, the media are taking the protesters seriously. Read More
Occupy Wall Street
(Though not all-inclusive, this page will be updated regularly. Have a suggestion? Leave it in the comments!)
Two months in, Occupy Wall Street media coverage has swelled from a fringe movement to the importance of a daily beat. To guide you through this media saturation, the Observer presents the best stories and angles from the worldwide OWS news desk, including coverage of the media “blackout” when the protests began in September. (But be sure to check out our coverage as well.)
The New York Times “With Generators Gone, Wall Street Protestors Try Bicycle Power“
As only he could, Keith Olbermann quit his top-rated MSNBC show Countdown last night with quite the send-off:
It was an unexpected announcement that ABC suggests had nothing to do the recent Comcast takeover of NBC, while The Times notes that Olbermann is getting the Conan treatment and Read More
A series of insane emails that purportedly came from Keith Olbermann were actually the work of Tucker Carlson’s Conservative news site, The Daily Caller.
The fake correspondence was published on the Philadelphia gossip site Phawker.com, which has since published a correction. The email exchange began when Philadelphia Daily News reporter Stu Read More
The Neverending Story
Keith Olbermann released a written statement Monday night following his suspension for making undisclosed campaign contributions to three Democrats, but anyone who was expecting contrition from MSNBC’s “Countdown” host was sorely disappointed.
Olbermann, who returns to primetime tonight, did apologize “for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama,” but his only Read More