Keith Olbermann, former left-leaning television anchor for MSNBC, has been fired by Al Gore's television project Current TV. The network claims that Olbermann failed to honor his five-year $50 million contract, which he denies.
It seems Keith Olbermann has to look for another network to host his show “Countdown.” It was announced late Friday that Current TV will terminate its lead anchor more than a year after he was hired to help boost the channel.
The cable channel accuses Olbermann of failing to honor the terms of its five-year contract, which is worth $50 million. Meanwhile, former New York Governor and CNN anchor Eliot Spitzer will take over hosting duties for the 8 p.m. time slot.
Current TV executives are expecting a lawsuit and have declined media interviews, but Al Gore and Joel Hyatt issued a letter to its viewers, in which it states that it gives its viewers a voice and are not controlled by special interests and that it is committed to those very goals to this date.
“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,” stated the letter.
Olbermann immediately went to Twitter and issued some fiery Tweets promising to sue the network.
“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,” wrote Olbermann.
The former sports caster later published a statement to the media:
“In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out,” stated Olbermann. “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.”
Olbermann has had issues in the past with networks. He held a feuded relationship with ESPN when he anchored “SportsCenter.” Later, he maintained a contentious relationship with MSNBC.
Current is hoping it can boost its ratings with Spitzer. In their note to viewers, Gore and Hyatt called Spitzer “a veteran public servant” that shares “important opinions and views.” Unfortunately for Current, Spitzer does not have a proven track record on television. His show only lasted eight months on CNN at the 8 p.m. time slot and never gained in the Nielsen ratings.