The New York Times's Brian Stelter reported Friday that Current TV has dismissed cable news host Keith Olbermann after he moved there just over a year ago from MSNBC, and the break-up does not sound amicable. In a statement, Current TV writes:
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.
That might only be big news in itself if you're an Olbermann follower, though if you are, it'll come as no surprise. Olbermann has publicly sparred with his network a lot over the past few months. But of course, no story on Olbermann goes without his own enthusiastic take on it, and we expect fireworks will make this interesting. Apparently, there won't be any ceremony about the firing either, Stelter reports. Olbermann's dismissal is immediate, and he'll be replaced by Eliot Spitzer -- the former New York governor who also knows a little something about being fired by a cable news network. Spitzer's set to appear in just a few hours from the announcement, a turn-around so fast, even the show's guests have been caught off guard.
It'll also be interesting to see where Olbermann lands. We hear Rupert Murdoch's got a new sports network in the making.
Update: 6:30 PM EST: Olbermann released the following 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.