Olbermann vs. Current: Update…

A flood of articles appeared tonight on the Current TV/Olbermann fiasco…

But the New York Times’ Brian Stelter sums up the situation nicely…

When he was hired by Current shortly thereafter, he was given an equity stake in the company and given the title chief news officer, so he is both a boss and a person who is notoriously resistant to the notion of having a boss. Current seemed aware of the risk; even as the election coverage disagreement became public last week, an executive said, “This is Keith being Keith.”

Other staffers said that Mr. Olbermann, whose “Countdown” started on Current in June, was initially supportive of the channel, but changed his tone toward the end of the year, possibly because of management changes and the technical problems.

On several occasions, satellite feeds have stopped, lights have burned out and graphics packages have failed, embarrassing Mr. Olbermann.

Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter’s Matthew Belloni writes that lawyers are now involved…

The lead attorney for Keith Olbermann tells The Hollywood Reporter that the disgruntled Current newsman is negotiating his next moves with his employer in the wake of a falling out over his participation in coverage of the Republican primaries.

Patricia Glaser, the Hollywood litigator who represented Olbermann during his exit from MSNBC and his subsequent hiring by Current, tells THR that conversations between the Olbermann camp and Current have begun over his role with the network.

And The Wrap’s Lucas Shaw and Brent Lang write that things are tense…

The newsman has tapped high-powered lawyer Patricia Glaser to “determine his rights” in his five-year contract, an individual close to him told TheWrap.

Meanwhile, executives at Current TV said that relations – especially those with Current CEO Joel Hyatt – were at a breaking point after deteriorating over the past several months.

“I hope Keith is part of our future, but it’s up to Keith,” an executive with Current who declined to be identified told TheWrap. “Keith set us in the right direction and we’re on that path now … and as I’ve learned over the years, everybody is replaceable.”

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14 Responses to “Olbermann vs. Current: Update…”

  1. bushleaguer Says:

    A psychiatrist could spend his/her entire life with Olbermann and not be able to figure out what makes this guy tick.

    Good grief.

  2. Watching tonight reminded me how “stupid drunk in a bar” disgusting he can be. He has a juvenile, dirty-joke-level sense of humor that isn’t funny at all..just creepy. He’s basically a dirty old man who hates women. Get off my TV, you POS.

  3. Any chance that this conflict is just something dreamed-up to give Current some press? Any press is better than no press and I’ve heard more of this little outfit today than all previous days combined.

  4. I don’t see Al Gore being in on this kind of “press”.

  5. That just gives Hannity an excuse to talk about ‘crazed’ things.

  6. Any chance that this conflict is just something dreamed-up to give Current some press? Any press is better than no press and I’ve heard more of this little outfit today than all previous days combined.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    Btw, read something about Current wanting more money from Uverse and now its not available on the U200 package anymore.. Not that I ever watch that lameness!

  7. bushleaguer Says:

    joe – I tuned in last night to see if he was going to say something and was equally turned off by his juvenile nonsense. This guy needs brass of some sort to keep him reigned in….if left to his own devices Olbermann will eventually embarrass Al Gore because this is Gore’s network and he will have to answer for Olbermann’s garbage.

    Al Gore needs to realize this – Olbermann makes all Liberals/Progressives look bad. The best move MSNBC has made yet was cutting him loose…..Maddow is as Liberal as they come but she is (or at least comes off as) a pleasant person.

  8. lonestar77 Says:

    I think he’s seriously delusional. I don’t believe he understands that many of his former fans now think he’s a insane asshat. He probably thinks he’s still the most important person on the left side of politics. He’ll either remain in denial forever or one day it’ll hit him. And, it won’t be pretty.

    I would bet a whole lot of money that he ends up being one of those weird, lonely, old misers that disappears off the face of the earth in their later years.

  9. imnotblue Says:

    What are the odds that KO decided he “didn’t want” to do the live stuff, because he doesn’t feel like he can handle the pressure. We already know that when the heat is on, he ducks and runs… so maybe this was him preemptively saying, “I can’t do this,” and why he wasn’t initially supposed to be there.

    BUT, because he can’t come out and say that publicly, he’s decided to “blame the boss” as he’s done so many times before. Someway in his mind, it all sorts out to where he actually believes they’re to blame, but in reality, it was he who put all the road blocks in front of him.

    All this, IMO, could lead to a bigger story. Current is paying KO over 10 million to be there, and even if he bails (I would guess) he’s going to take most of that home (where he can pretend he’s part of the 99%, or not one of the ‘fat cats’ he complains about, while costing his staff their jobs… again). So now we have Current in money trouble. They turn to their new talent, Cenk and Granholm, to pick up the slack. But Cenk has a proven track record of not being able to pull in a television audience, and Granholm is untested. That’s not a great plan for building a network!

    The bottom line is, if KO bails it may damage Current to the point of no return. The financial hit, the loss in what meager ratings he brought in, and the lack of attention grabbing talent with name recognition, could doom the network entirely.

    The lesson to be learned, is when building a network, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket…-case.

    (cross posted at J$)

  10. I can see Olby’s side of this, though. If management isn’t trying to fix the embarrassing technical glitches, he has a right to be angry.

  11. I looked up “team player” in my Funk & Wagnalls and all it had to say was “Not Olbermann”.

  12. Hire Rick Sanchez.

  13. savefarris Says:

    ^^ Just a thought: maybe if Olbermann wasn’t demanding $10 million a year for his services, Current would have enough cash to make set repairs.

  14. Good points everyone. In all honesty though I’ve watched both Countdown & TYT on Current, and the Countdown version on Current under his direction is less in quality than it was on MS. The lack of NBC pooled reports makes it basically anyone who wants to bitch with him on air about his taking points. The young terks though is great show, and really well done. MS should’ve let this crew do their thing at 6PM, as it would’ve paired well with Hardball. The few times I watched and a rerun of the special coverage, all mistakes were on par with national, cable and local TV. The sets they use on current shows are not complex, and can be fixed easily. Anyone who’s leading a small team to turn around a network, would put everything into it. Plus, he took the risk of jumping to an inde news net with a limited budget.

    I just hope when he bails, Gore and Hyatt relaunch the network as an inde domestic news channel that’s balanced. It would be a joke if they think they can lure any MS’ers away, given that their expanding their weekend lineup.

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