UPDATED: David Letterman’s CBS “Late Show” wasted no time booking an interview with Keith Olbermann. Just hours after the news broke that Olbermann had been fired by Current TV on Friday came word via Twitter that the “Letterman” show had booked the fired firebrand for next Tuesday night (April 3) for what will likely be his first post-firing interview.
PREVIOUSLY: Keith Olbermann has been fired by Current TV, the network announced Friday. He’s been at the fledgling cable channel for less than a year.
Olbermann’s “Countdown” will be replaced by another controversial figure — Eliot Spitzer — effective immediately.
Beginning tonight (Friday, March 30) at 8/7c, Current will air “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” in which the former New York governor (and CNN host) will offer his opinion on the day’s news and invite guests to join the discussion.
Current TV issued a statement via an open letter on its website:
“We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet. We are more committed to those goals today than ever before.
“Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”
The controversial cable news host has an inexplicable track record for abruptly exiting his jobs under contentious circumstances, previously at MSNBC and ESPN before that.
Rumors of a rift in the relationship between Olbermann and his Current bosses began to circulate in January, when tensions flared over the channel’s coverage of the Republican primaries, among other things.
Immediately after the firing news broke late Friday afternoon, Olbermann issued a response on his Twitter page, revealing his side of the saga.
My full statement:
I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV.
Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I’ve been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract.
It goes almost without saying that the claims against me implied in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain. http://nyti.ms/HueZsa
In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.