In a stroke of déjà vu, Current TV host Keith Olbermann
relationship with the network is on the rocks, according to multiple published
The tension boiled over this week in the wake of Current's
coverage of the Iowa Caucuses, which Olbermann was not a part of.
"I was not given a legitimate opportunity to host under
acceptable conditions," Olbermann said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter
"They know it and we know it. Telling half the story is wrong."
Olbermann did not specify to THR what "acceptable conditions" were, but his Countdown show has been plagued with technical difficulties on the channel like having the lights go off on-air in the studio.
But in an internal memo also obtained by THR, Current TV president David Bohrman
asserted that Olbermann was asked to lead the net's Iowa coverage and declined.
Olbermann reportedly still planned to anchor his show on Tuesday, even though
the net had planned to pre-empt it for special election coverage hosted by Cenk
Uygar, Jennifer Granholm and Al Gore, a fact that was reportedly not communicated to Countdown staff.
A Current TV spokesperson said Thursday that Olbermann had been asked
to participate in the network's coverage of the New Hampshire primary next
Tuesday and said, "we hope he will be part of it."
Olbermann launched Countdown
on Current in June,
and it has since become the highest-rated program on the network. When he
joined the network in February, he was also given the title of chief news
officer, a role in which he has been less visible.
In August, Current hired David Bohrman as its president
and along with network CEO Joel Hyatt has been the vocal presence each time the
network hires a new host, not Olbermann.
Olbermann left MSNBC in dramatic fashion last January, after
announcing at the end of a Friday program that it would be his last on the
Before that, he famously clashed with bosses at ESPN, where he was anchor of SportsCenter.