Triumphant Keith Olbermann has apparently won his standoff with Current TV and will now anchor the cable channel’s coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign.
But when you read between the lines of a statement issued by Current, and a statement issued by Keith, it is possible to detect some lingering differences of opinion over how his role in the coverage will be defined going forward.
First, the story, which you’ll find here on The Hollywood Reporter Web site, THR.com: According to THR, Olbermann has “agreed” to anchor Current’s coverage on future election nights, but not including this Tuesday’s New Hampshire primaries. It’s a little unclear why he won’t be on board this Tuesday.
The THR story goes on to say that Keith “will have complete creative and editorial control” over Current’s coverage, but that assertion seems to have come from Keith, not from Current.
In fact, Current’s statement Monday morning on the subject of Keith was very brief. It said: “Keith has agreed to host future special election coverage on Current. We hope that this will start after New Hampshire. We’re looking forward to insightful and impactful 2012 election analysis.” “‘We hope’?” That phrase makes it sound as if the people who run Current don’t quite believe he’ll really show up to host the network’s election programming.
By contrast, a statement from Keith quoted by the Hollywood Reporter suggests that he’s been put in charge of the whole shebang. “I am pleased that I’ll be running the election coverage on Current,” Keith allegedly said.
These new developments follow days of back-and-forth between Keith and the Al Gore-owned Current, as the two have struggled to define his role in the channel’s election coverage. Keith and his nightly “Countdown” show were notably excluded from last Tuesday night’s coverage of the Iowa Caucus. That was handled instead by other Current personalities Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm.