Friday, November 27, 2015

Current: Olbermann out, Spitzer -- yes, Spitzer -- in

I would not like to be the person in charge of keeping Keith Olbermann's resume current.

Current: Olbermann out, Spitzer -- yes, Spitzer -- in

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Keith Olbermann: On the road again

I would not like to be the person in charge of keeping Keith Olbermann’s resume current.

But as of Friday afternoon, Current TV tops the longish list of places Olbermann used to work.

The Al Gore network, which is replacing Olbermann with Eliot Spitzer – you simply cannot make this stuff up – announced it was terminating Olbermann’s five-year, $50 million contract because, according to the New York Times, which quoted a letter from the channel, Current was "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."


Also, they will be sitting at opposite ends of the lunchroom from now on. And that couples cruise to the Bahamas? Off.


For those who haven’t been keeping score since Olbermann left his last job, at MSNBC, somewhat abruptly after reaching agreement during a commercial break, he’s had a few ups and downs at Current, some of which spilled into public a few months ago, when he reportedly refused to participate in some election coverage, and all of which a kindergarten teacher might have summed up as "does not always play well with others."

Which, to be fair, shouldn’t necessarily be considered a drawback in the somewhat fractious world of political programming on cable.

Anyone who has read Olbermann’s resume, which also includes stops at Fox Sports Net and ESPN and CNN, to name just a few, should’ve known he might not be the ideal company man.

Wondering what Olbermann has to say about this? My colleague, Molly Eichel, has put together a sampling of his responses, via Twitter, which you can find here.

Current, meanwhile, is hailing the premiere of "Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer," which will be in place at 8 p.m. Friday as if "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" had disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

This, from the official press release:


"Eliot Spitzer is a veteran public servant and an astute observer of the issues of the day," commented Current TV Chairman and former Vice President Al Gore. "He has important opinions and insights. Eliot relishes the kind of constructive discourse that our viewers will appreciate this important election year."

Spitzer is also a former New York governor who left the job after it was discovered he’d paid – way, way too much – for sex and who hosted a show for a while on CNN until someone there decided it didn’t pay to keep him on.


And even with all that, he’s not nearly as much fun to write about as Olbermann, who, it's been pointed out, basically predicted this might happen while delivering the Top 10 list on "Late Show with David Letterman" before "Countdown" started airing at Current.

 Check out No. 2.



Daily News TV Critic
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About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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