A year after Keith Olbermann left MSNBC to join Current TV, the network owned by former Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt, the anchor has been fired from his position and will be replaced effective immediately by disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer.
“Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” will debut at 8 p.m. on March 30, Current announced Friday (March 30). Gore says in a statement, “Eliot Spitzer is a veteran public servant and an astute observer of the issues of the day. He has important opinions and insights. Eliot relishes the kind of constructive discourse that our viewers will appreciate this important election year.”
Spitzer previously hosted a show on CNN. He says in a statement, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to host a show on Current TV that will provide insight into and analysis of the critical issues on the minds of Americans today.”
Current says the reason Olbermann has been let go from his five-year, $50 million contract is because he failed to honor its terms. “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 network says in a letter to viewers.
Olbermann has fired back in a statement on his Twitter account threatening legal action against the network.
“I’d like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV,” he writes. “Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring @AlGore and @JoelHyatt 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 in Current’s statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently.”
He adds: “joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one.”