Olbermann dishes on new gig, others dish on Olbermann

Alec Jacobs Contributor
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Keith Olbermann’s been pretty quiet lately. The former MSNBC host has been spending the last several months prepping for his new show on Current TV, premiering June 20. That means next Monday, Olbermann will officially move to the channel with the second-lowest ratings on television, just ahead of ESPN Classic.

Despite what must be a hectic schedule, the talking head took some time out to speak with The Hollywood Reporter about his new gig.

In perhaps the most surprising part of the profile, Olbermann acknowledges he still hasn’t spoken with his one-time friend and co-worker Rachel Maddow in the wake of his departure from MSNBC. He says it’s in an attempt to prevent her from having to “choose sides…I didn’t want to add to the pressure on her already.”

(Coulter resurrects ‘prissy, pompous and hysterical’ Olbermann’s career for 10 minutes)

The profile also contains some fun quotes from a new tell-all book out about ESPN, including from Olbermann’s former co-workers. Anchor Bob Ley said, “We felt not so much relief when Keith left as unrestrained f&#*ing joy,” while the network’s chairman Herb Granath said he was “enraged” by Olbermann: ” Guys like that just piss me off…It’s just me, me, me. There was no choice but to get rid of him.”

Olbermann tells THR of a meeting with CBS president Les Moonves in 2005, when the network was searching for an anchor. Olbermann claims the meeting lasted two hours, as Moonves tried to persuade him to take the CBS Evening News anchor chair. Moonves says of the meeting: “It was an hour, and it wasn’t for the main [anchor] job.”

In classic Olbermann fashion, he doesn’t hesitate to take a jab at his old public enemy number one. His new Current TV office overlooks New York City’s train graveyard, but he insists the view is “better than looking out the window and seeing Fox News.”

Contributors to the new “Countdown” will include leftwing staples of the old show. For one, expect to see Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas, who told THR that despite a lack of interest in appearing on television, “there are people I appreciate and so I like to do their shows, and Keith is one of those people.” Michael Moore will also appear regularly.