David Bohrman Interview…

The LA Times’ Joe Flint writes about David Bohrman joining Current TV. And Flint interviews Bohrman too. That in itself isn’t enough to get me to do a blog post on it. But this is…

In an interview, Bohrman said he thinks Current can “create a network that can enlighten the viewers and voters that are out there” without relying on the screaming matches that have become a staple of cable news.

“I think we can be a real tone changer,” Bohrman said. MSNBC and CNN, he said, constantly feature guests “sniping” at each other. “They think it is balance, but it is just noise…. I want to provide a forum for various opinions but I don’t want people shouting at each other every other sentence,” he said. “I think we’ll get viewers across the political spectrum.”

Wow…one day on the job and already taking a really big shot at your former employer with whom you were working up until last week!

Like I said…wow…

Update: Multichannel News’ John Eggerton has an interview with Bohrman and Current CEO Joel Hyatt

MCN: So, you are not looking to do breaking news on this channel.

Bohrman: No, breaking news is largely now a commodity, We will be aware of breaking news and continue to use Google News or Yahoo! news or maybe some of the other wires services or broadcast news services. But we are not going to employ 300 bureaus and people around the world to tell us what’s happening because that is already available to not just us but everybody else throughout the course of their day.

MCN: How should we measure the success of this “all in” play–innovative programming, higher ratings, a new brand.

Bohrman: All of the above.

Hyatt: I think you should measure us by our impact, influence, and success, and that success certainly has to do with ratings and out impact will have to do with providing that kind of insightful analysis that is helping audiences understand and contextualize the news and issues of the day. Those are big ambitions and that is what we want to be measured by.

16 Responses to “David Bohrman Interview…”

  1. So, I guess hiring Keith Olbermann wasn’t a fluke. Current TV is really determined to become a cables news channel. This is pretty exciting to see a tv channel develop in front of our eyes. I didn’t really pay attention when FNC and MSNBC formed in the mid 1990s.

    In the interview, Bohrman said his priority is to develop two shows: before and after Countdown. I wonder who the hosts will be. Cenk might be a possibility or Howard Dean?

  2. Naming a news president (a big name too) and reshuffling the top management after having established Olbermann as the “beachhead” seems to me to be an invitation for trouble.

    It’s like those sports franchises that name a head coach or manager first and then the general manager later. If the two don’t get along, chaos follows and the owner has to repeatedly step in to resolve conflicts. Eventually one of them has to go (usually the coach). It’s better to select the GM first and then let him select a coach that is in simpatico with him.

    If the sports analogy applies here, I can’t help but see problems down the road. If Bohrman really wants to “get viewers across the spectrum” – left right and center – that means having non-progressive figures on the network.

    That’s emphatically something that Olbermann – who’s also the CEO of news (whatever that entails) – doesn’t want. Or like. Or seems to be able to deal with.

    I imagine that they’ll let Olbermann do “his thing” but if he wants to be more than just the host of a show and have power over the other programs, Mr. Gore might be facing another inconvenient truth.

  3. Excellent points, Steve. I thought KO was going to be the King Kong Ruler Of All at Current. I’m pretty sure that’s what he thought..

  4. ^It’ll be interesting to find out if Olbermann was consulted about these changes. Or had input et cetera.

    I imagine he must have. If not, we’ll hear about it.

  5. jackyboy Says:

    I hope everything works out well for KO at Current and he does get along with Bohrman. I can’t stand Olbermann but I’m tired of seeing the guy get fired all the time.

  6. mlong5000 Says:

    “I can’t stand Olbermann but I’m tired of seeing the guy get fired all the time.”

    Well if people would stop hiring him knowing his history it wouldn’t be a problem.

  7. If they truly try for that tone change I’ll be interested in checking it out. Won’t bother checking out Olbermann, though.

  8. These people at Current are not very attached to reality if they think they are going to bring on hosts of programs that will not involve yelling and debates. Are the on-screen screaming matches a good idea? No, but you can’t expect some debates to not get heated. So, what are they going to do? Tell the hosts to cut the guest off and not to yell? Obviously, that would be stupid, because anything can happen on live television.

    As far as the who Current gets for their hosting duties, I don’t see any purpose in Cenk Uygur going to Current. His show on YT gets like 20 times the viewers that Current is getting right now. And Howard Dean is great, but he’s currently employed at CNBC (and appearing on MSNBC), and I don’t see them letting him go. Plus, he’s not a great host, and he seems very uncomfortable with it.

    I’m afraid Current will have a lot of trouble getting all this to happen, but they are confident, so we’ll see. Until they start offering some real ideas, I have no reason to watch.

  9. I’ve seen KO a few times, and the shouting from him has completely disappeared. And the show is unbearably boring.

  10. Really? Hmmmm… well, I’m still not going to watch anything he’s on but your observation could mean that they’re serious about coming up with a different format. And some boring programming is to be expected while they work out the bugs.

    We’ll see.

  11. Well, I think he’s calmer now, Joe. I like that version of KO, because otherwise he looks like a train wreck. It’s the poor production value of the show that gives me no need to tune in. They can’t even get a good mic for the guest to talk in to sometimes. It doesn’t seem like they know what they’re doing.

  12. Yep. I caught a few minutes last week, and it hasn’t improved at all. The audio is atrocious.

  13. They don’t know what they’re doing. Yet.

    When MSNBC started up it had the benefit of NBC’s infrastructure in place. When FNC started up in had the benefit of Roger Ailes and, from what I’ve read, weeks and weeks of practising before the channel went on the air. Current doesn’t have world-wide media conglomerate backing it as those two did.

  14. Josh Kaib Says:

    Current could hire Cenk Uyger, but they’d have to accept some yelling.

    Another option is Elliot Spitzer. At least he doesn’t yell too often.

  15. Probably wouldn’t withstand a review, but the sense I get is that FNC tends to hire talent and contributors who are either already on a good run wherever they’re working or have just come off a good one. Seems like CNN and MSNBC or are more accepting of someone left their previous job on some sort of ‘down note’.

    Maybe Current would do better going for talent with fewer knocks in their resumes.

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