Tumultuous TV personality Keith Olbermann is again reportedly at odds with his employers — currently the Al Gore-owned cable channel known as Current TV.
Olbermann joined Current with much fanfare earlier this year to revive his former MSNBC show “Countdown” and spearhead Current’s move into live, issue-oriented talk programming in evening hours. He’d left MSNBC earlier after clashing with management at the NBC-owned news channel.
But now, at the arrival of the new year and the eve of the first real votes of the 2012 presidential campaign — the Iowa Caucus scheduled for this Tuesday, Jan. 3 — Olbermann is apparently not on the list of Current personalities who will be covering the Iowa balloting. The Hollywood Reporter has the story here, though THR picked it up from the New York Times here.
What’s the problem? Well, without detailing specific instances, the Times cites unnamed sources (but four of them who apparently corroborated each other) who indicate that Olbermann is once again clashing with his bosses. The only quotable detail seems to be one word: “disgruntled,” which is how one of the four sources described Keith.
The story then goes on to detail how scheduling information released by Current for its Iowa Caucus coverage seems to exclude Keith from the proceedings. The story even quotes Olbermann, via a reply to a Times reporter’s e-mail, that, to Keith’s knowledge, he IS scheduled to do a “Countdown” show on the Iowa Caucus on Tuesday night.
Instead, the schedule cited by the Times has two other Current personalities handling the Caucus coverage — Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm.
Why is Keith disgruntled? The story doesn’t say, but our take is: He’s likely frustrated by the low viewership for his show on Current, which is a much lower-rated network than MSNBC, where he drew close to a million viewers a night. On the other hand, Keith knew what he was getting into when he joined Current — which, for him, was the only TV company offering him a job. Truth is, despite everything, we happen to like Keith personally and hope this isn’t shaping up to be a another parting of the ways with yet another TV company.