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Al Gore Gushes Over 'Formidable Intelligence' of New Hire Keith Olbermann


"He has a magnetic personality."

Al Gore loves Keith Olbermann.

In case it wasn't clear before, the former vice president made it evident Wednesday in speaking to reporters about the former MSNBC host's move to Gore's own media company, Current TV.

How much does Gore love Olbermann?  Let him count the ways:

He's a unique talent and he has a magnetic personality and people form a relationship with him because they know that he is brilliant, they know he is speaking from his heart, they know he has passionate beliefs. He cares about them a lot. And he marries that to his formidable intelligence. And I think people appreciate his authenticity and where he's coming from. ...

Less than 24 hours after Olbermann announced his departure from MSNBC on Jan. 21, Gore translated this love into a job offer, extending a personal invitation to join Current TV.

“We've been friends for a while,” Gore said of Olbermann Wednesday.  "I find myself in substantial agreement with the views I've heard Keith Olbermann express" -- which is Al Gore's way of saying, "We agree on lots of stuff."

Democracy "benefits greatly from having Keith Olbermann's voice heard," the one-time presidential candidate added.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Olbermann's new contract was quickly settled, but it was ultimately Gore who personally convinced Olbermann to join the network. The former MSNBC host's new venture will likely start up in May after the non-compete clause in his NBC contract expires.

"He had no choice but to go to a place like Current because his non-compete excluded just about every other place," an MSNBC source told THR.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, Neilsen estimated that Current TV averaged an outreach of just 18,000 homes during primetime. Nevertheless, Olbermann is describing his new venture as "an improved, amplified and stronger version of the show that I just did at my previous network." As Current's new chief news officer, Olbermann will also play a role in developing other shows for the network.

“Among his many talents, he has an eye for what works, what doesn't, who would be good on his show and potentially doing other shows,” Gore said. “And we're going to let that evolve. He's always done that. He was more responsible than anyone else by far in making the brand of the network he most recently worked at. Before that he was more responsible than anyone else for Sports Center, the heart of heart of ESPN. So he knows how to do this.”

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