Keith Olbermann will host a nightly primetime news and
commentary show on Current TV, confirming
a report Monday evening that the former MSNBC host was joining the public
Olbermann will executive produce the untitled show, set to
premiere in late spring. The show will air live five nights a week, from a New
York based studio. He will also have an equity stake in the company and serve
as its chief news officer.
As part of that title, he will provide editorial guidance on
news coverage, be involved with the net's Vanguard
series and the conceiving of future editorial programming.
Current execs denied that a plan was in place for Olbermann
to join the network prior to his abrupt departure from MSNBC, saying they
approached Olbermann after he announced his exit on his Countdown program Jan. 21.
Olbermann called joining the network "the most exciting
venture in my career" on a conference call with press Tuesday morning, talking
up Current's independently owned credentials. Although he said the move should
not imply there were "oppressive" forces in place at any of his previously
employers, including MSNBC, which is owned by NBCUniversal.
Current was founded in 2005 by former Vice President Al Gore
and Joel Hyatt and is currently distributed in 60 million homes nationwide.
Hyatt believes that the addition of a big TV personality like Olbermann will
assure the network an increased footprint in the weeks and months to come, as well as increased ad sales revenue.
The network is premiering a new slate of programming to ad
buyers at its upfront presentation Wednesday in New York, at which time execs
say it will become clear what kind of a position the network hopes to take in
the cable news space.