Isn’t that fun? If only Media Matters had launched a campaign against Olby, he might still have his gig.
So what happened between Current TV and Keith Olbermann, anyway? Well, the trouble all started when Current TV hired Keith Olbermann. Howard Kurtz reports:
On Aug. 2, 2011, according to emails reviewed by The Daily Beast, Olbermann’s manager, Michael Price, sent [Current TV co-founder Joel] Hyatt a list of about 40 “deficiencies” that needed to be corrected. Six days later, Price told Hyatt that the problems required “immediate attention” and that “we are not aware of any demonstrable effort to address the issues.”
One of management’s complaints was that Olbermann would not participate in some press and marketing events, even though he was contractually obligated to promote the network. Executives grew upset when Olbermann balked at touting the programming that followed his 8 p.m. show, Countdown. In the email, Price explained that reluctance by saying the host was being given wrong information about what was to air. It was “inexcusable,” he wrote, to repeatedly have Olbermann “identify incorrect programming following Countdown. If people cannot trust him to correctly identify the programming, his credibility on larger matters comes into question…”
Olbermann never came close to the more than 1 million viewers he had averaged at MSNBC, but his Current show was drawing more than 100,000 in the prized 25-to-54 age group last summer—and that gradually dwindled to 30,000.
Wow. That’s even worse than Soledad O’Brien!
Then there were the numerous technical problems. More than once, the lights went out in the middle of a Countdown broadcast. Even worse, when the lights came back on, viewers were subjected to the sight of Keith Olbermann.
You can read Kurtz’s full report for all the passive-aggressive wonderfulness between Keith and Current, but this sums it up:
What is clear from the correspondence is that the relationship was dissolving amid a flurry of mutual recriminations. Gore had welcomed Olbermann as the new face of a little-watched network, anointing him chief news officer and giving him an equity stake in the operation. Gore had dealt with big egos in politics, but he and Hyatt told colleagues they had never dealt with anyone quite like Olbermann.
When Al Gore thinks you’re an egomaniac who’s impossible to deal with…
After you finish that main breakfast course of schadenfreude, here’s a side order of schadenfreude from the NY Post:
Suits at Al Gore’s fledgling cable network sacked the temperamental man-of-the-people after a series of on-the-job clashes, including the diva’s outrageous run of car services, network sources told The Post yesterday.
“Current went through eight different [limo] companies with Keith. Each and every time . . . he didn’t like them,” a network insider said.
“One time it was that the drivers talked to him, he did not like that the driver saw fit to speak to him. The other time he complained that the driver smelled.”
I’m also seeing conflicting reports that it was only three car services, not eight. That’s not so bad, over the course of
one year 40 weeks. Hey, wait a second… Why did Current have to pay a car service to haul Keith around? Why wasn’t the car service paying him? Don’t they know who he is?
So now, of course, Olby is threatening to sue Current. Business Insider reports on his legal strategy:
A furious Keith Olbermann promised to sue Current TV and its founders, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, tonight, after it was announced Friday that he had been fired from the network and replaced by former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer…
Olbermann also tweeted personal attacks against Gore and Hyatt, stating that “in due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out.” He directed readers to a 1990 New York Times story about Hyatt, detailing how a federal judge found that Hyatt’s legal services company had illegally removed an employee after learning he had AIDS.
It is unclear what the case has to do with Olbermann’s situation at Current.
Apparently, we’re supposed to side with Olbermann because Hyatt is the kind of guy who’ll fire somebody for having AIDS. And we’re supposed to forget that Olbermann had no problem signing a very lucrative contract with a guy who fired somebody for having AIDS.
In the meantime, Keith still has an outlet for his very important thoughts:
Can Keith Olbermann get fired from Twitter? And if he does, where will he complain about it? Myspace?
For the latest Keith Olbermann news and commentary, visit KeithOlbermann.com.
Update: Wow, it was quite a week for huge jerks who no longer work for NBC.
Update: From March 13, here’s Keith reporting on Rush’s impending doom:
Update: HBO’s timing couldn’t be better.
America sucks, and
Keith Olbermann Will McAvoy is the only one brave enough to tell it to you straight. Gotta love the stunt casting, too. Sam Waterson as a heartless right-wing suit, that’s nothing unexpected. But then he reports to Jane Fonda? That’s beautiful. Go, Aaron Sorkin, go!