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Olbermann to Announce Post-MSNBC Plans; UPDATE: Going to Al Gore's Current TV?



According to the New York Times, Olbermann will announce Tuesday that his next venture may include a move to Current TV, a public affairs channel co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore:

Neither Mr. Olbermann, his representatives, or executives from Current TV would comment on the move, but they did not deny that the channel, which counts former Vice President Al Gore as one of its founders, will become at least one partner in Mr. Olbermann’s future media plans.

One of the people with knowledge of the plans said Mr. Olbermann would have an equity stake in Current TV. The people insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized by their employers to comment in advance of the official announcement. ...

Current TV has set up a presentation with advertisers for Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan to announce its future plans. The channel may be betting on Mr. Olbermann to put it on the cable map. The low-rated five-year-old channel needs the help. Targeting young people, it originally subsisted on YouTube-style submissions and video journalists. More recently it started producing and acquiring traditional television series, like repeats of “This American Life.” ...

A move to Current TV would challenge Mr. Olbermann’s fans of his MSNBC show — where he drew about a million viewers a night — to follow him to a channel that is considerably less accessible. Current TV is available in only about 60 million homes, and is usually available only on the digital tier of cable television systems, which requires a separate receiver. MSNBC, which is owned by NBC Universal, is available in 85 million homes and is almost always available as a basic cable entry.

But the addition of Mr. Olbermann, the former sports anchor who made himself a progressive star at MSNBC, would surely elevate the channel, bringing it attention it has never before received. The channel also wears its liberal politics on its sleeve.

With Current TV, Mr. Olbermann would also gain a measure of independence. Unlike most cable channels, including MSNBC, which are owned by large media companies, Current is privately and independently owned by Mr. Gore and other backers.

If the rumors of a move to CurrentTV are true, Olbermann would likely feel right at home on a network that is unabashedly liberal and not bound by the business model of a corporate venture.

It's also possible that Mr. Olbermann will separately pursue other ventures, including an Internet destination.  Mediaite reports:

This theory was somewhat supported by a tip that pointed out that a simple whois search reveals that the domain names “” and “” were registered January 19th, 2011, just two days before his last appearance on MSNBC.


Recently dismissed cable news anchor Keith Olbermann is expected to announce his plans for a post-MSNBC career Tuesday, according to a statement released by the former host's new public relations team. According to the release, Olbermann's fate will be divulged during a press conference set for Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. ET.

Via the Hollywood Reporter:

A release from the company states that Olbermann and "his new partners will make an exciting announcement regarding the next chapter of his remarkable career." No further information about the call or Olbermann's decision was available.

Olbermann announced last month that he was immediately and unexpectedly stepping down as host of "Countdown" in MSNBC's primetime lineup.

Online bloggers are taking turns guessing where the controversial host -- who spent Super Bowl Sunday tweeting about the National Football League is a "socialist" enterprise -- may end up.

Mediabistro suspects Olbermann may not appear in another traditional TV role, adding that the press release notes that Olbermann “and his new partners will make an exciting announcement regarding the next chapter in his remarkable career.”

Additionally, Variety's Cynthia Littleton tweeted Monday that Olbermann's reps say "we shouldn't assume that it won't involve TV."

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