Troubled Current TV Puts Olbermann In Charge

Lindsay Mannering
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OlbermanHave you ever heard of Current TV? You have! Look at you all in-the-know. If you're like me and thought "Current TV" was going to be a list of shows currently on air, then you and I both have some catching up to do.

Current TV is Al Gore's public affairs channel that no one's ever watched in the history of time. But fans of liberal talking heads may tune in soon; Keith Olbermann is getting his own show that will start broadcasting in a few months.

Why would Olby settle for such a no-name network? He had a prime-time slot on MSNBC with over 1 million viewers a night ... it seems like he could do better. So what did Al offer Olby to get the deal signed?

Control, power, and pat on the back. The New York Times reports that Olbmermann accepted an equity stake in Current TV, which would enable him to do things his way. There is considerably less red tape at the small network, and Olbmermann will have independence and input over how things are run. Guess that's a perk at working at a small, privately owned company compared to MSNBC, which is owned by a huge media group.

But who will watch? The Times reports that Current TV is only available in 60 million homes, compared to MSNBC's availability in 85 million homes. I for one have no idea what channel it is, or if I even get Current TV.

Ratings for Current TV have been far lower than MSNBC's, and the network has struggled to stay afloat in recent years.

Will Olbermann bring new life and, more importantly, new viewers to Current TV? I can't say I'm going to be looking for it. It all sounds a little too forced. Equity in a flailing cable channel does not a hit show make, Olby. I don't think he'll be able to take the clunker that is Gore's channel and recycle it into something new and shiny.

What do you think of Olbermann's move to Current TV?


Photo via YouTube

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