By Brian Stetler, New York Times, February 8, 2011
The as-yet untitled hour of news and commentary will effectively mimic “Countdown,” the MSNBC program that Mr. Olbermann created eight years ago and quit hosting last month. Mr. Olbermann told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that the new program would be “an improved, and we hope amplified and stronger, version of the show that I just did.”
Current is betting that Mr. Olbermann will put the channel on the cable map — and it needs the help. It averages just 23,000 viewers in prime time each night.
Mr. Olbermann drew about 1 million viewers to his MSNBC program each night. This is “the best investment that Current has ever made,” said Joel Hyatt, who founded the channel with Mr. Gore.
Mr. Olbermann will have an equity stake in the company, and he will also have a management role. As the chief news officer, he will develop new programs and provide editorial guidance to the channel’s journalists.
“We are counting down the days to Keith Olbermann’s return to television,” Current’s chief executive, Mark Rosenthal, said on the conference call. But he did not announce a premiere date or a time slot for the program.
This is good news, not only for die hard Olbermann fans, (count me among them!) but also for the 2012 election cycle for the potential re-election of President Obama. Olbermann will have a full year to generate both ratings and critical comment, bringing truth and enlightenment to the lies and slanders of the likes of Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity and Beck, not to even mention poking holes in the positions of those contending of the Republican nomination for the presidency.
A dilettante, even irrascible, or so he has been judged, sensitive, something of a perfectionist, and expecting high standards of himself and all who work with or for him, Olbermann has left MSNBC gasping for breath, air, oxygen... anything that will resuscitate the network. Our's is one subscription that will shortly run out, given that the only one left worth watching and listening to, from both a content and an on-air presence is Rachel Maddow.
Now, north of the 49th parallel, we will have to research the access of Current TV from our provider, in order to be able to keep up with the Olbermann "Special Comments" and the editorial selection of news and the gaffs of those seeking to represent the 'right' for whom Olbermann has both a sharp scalpel and a deft hand on its handle.
Congratulations to Current TV, and to its management, of which Olbermann has now become a member.
Politics in the U.S. just breathed some new life into its coverage...and for those on the right, their steps will be a little more circumspect than they would have been without Olbermann.