Keith Olbermann is known, among other things, for his history of problematic interactions with network television executives.
Last week, the Blaze reported about the controversy surrounding the talking head's refusal to anchor Current's Iowa caucus coverage. Over the weekend, though, the tides seem to have turned, as the "Countdown" host announced that he will be "running" the network's election coverage moving forward.
According to Olbermann, his coverage will begin following the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. While its likely that the network had hoped he would be willing to participate in coverage of the nation's first 2012 primary, this compromise is likely part of a deal Olbermann and executives struck over the weekend.
"I am pleased that I’ll be running the election coverage on Current, following this Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary," the host announced in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "However, I don’t think those participating in the New Hampshire primary will share my satisfaction."
A Current spokesperson confirmed Olbermann's announcement, explaining that the host has agreed to do "special election coverage." Interestingly, Olbermann will have complete control over both the creative and the editorial side of production.
At this point, no one outside of the network knows what coverage will look like, but it appears that Olbermann has won the showdown with executives in gaining control over what Current's election focus will look like.
This is only the latest in a series of issues between the host and network leaders. Last week, we reported:
Current TV execs say that relations with the famously difficult host—particularly with CEO Joel Hyatt—have been sliding for several months.
Issues appear strongly related to CEO Mark Rosenthal’s August ouster, as he and Olbermann had developed a close working relationship. “When Joel Hyatt bounced Mark Rosenthal so Hyatt could take his job, that’s when things turned out to be difficult,” one individual close to the situation reportedly said.
But apparently Olbermann‘s also had it with the network’s repeated on-air technical difficulties, which have included satellite video cutting off and studio lights burning out. Olbermann silently addressed the latter last month by firing up a candle on his desk.
Olbermann still has four years left on his contract, so it will be intriguing to see how this situation progresses. If the dust settles and peace returns, all will be well. But if the contentiousness intensifies, it looks to be a long four years for both the host and those at "Current's" helm.