About two weeks after MSNBC ended its contract with its primetime anchor Keith Olbermann, the former Countdown host has a possible deal to join Current TV, according to a New York Times report.
Olbermann is said to be gaining an equity stake in the network as part of the announcement. How much of an on-air presence he will play is not known, as the split with MSNBC reportedly keeps him off TV until 2012.
A public relations firm has planned a conference call for Tuesday morning on behalf of Olbermann, "at which time he and his new partners will make an exciting announcement regarding the next chapter in his remarkable career," said an email sent to press earlier today.
Al Gore, the former Democratic Vice President, is a founder of the five-year-old Current TV, which is available in 60 million U.S. homes. The public affairs network is giving its upfront presentation to ad buyers in New York on Feb. 9.
Representatives for Current and Olbermann did not immediately return requests for comment at press time.
Current TV wasn't doing anything to discourage the speculation though, posting a story from Mediaite on its site under the headline: "Olbermann's New Job---on Current TV!?!?",
prompting on comment: "Can we get a moderator in here to possibly make a comment?"
Olbermann abruptly announced his departure from MSNBC on his Countdown program on Jan. 21. He was said to have a tense relationship with management and was briefly suspended in November for making campaign donations to Democrats.
His exit took place days after the government approved the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, the parent company of MSNBC, leading some to speculate that the liberal host had been pushed out. Comcast said at the time it had no role in the decision.
Current is independently owned.