New York Times' Stelter: Current TV Fires Keith Olbermann. UPDATE: Keith's statement added

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Via Brian Stelter:

Per Think Progress:

...His ratings fell and his relationship with Current quickly foundered.

Keith had a good show, he's sharp as a tack and knows his stuff. This was about ratings, and who knows what else. He'll be missed.

UPDATE: Statement from Current:

To the Viewers of Current:

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.  

We are moving ahead by honoring Current's values. Current has a fundamental obligation to deliver news programming with a progressive perspective that our viewers can count on being available daily -- especially now, during the presidential election campaign. Current exists because our audience desires the kind of perspective, insight and commentary that is not easily found elsewhere in this time of big media consolidation. 

As we move toward this summer's political conventions and the general election in the fall, Current is making significant new additions to our broadcasts. We have just debuted six hours of new programming each weekday with Bill Press ("Full Court Press" at 6 am ET/3 am PT) and Stephanie Miller ("Talking Liberally" at 9 am ET/6 pm PT).    

We’re very excited to announce that beginning tonight, former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will host “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT. Eliot is a veteran public servant and an astute observer of the issues of the day. He has important opinions and insights and he relishes the kind of constructive discourse that our viewers will appreciate this election year. We are confident that our viewers will be able to count on Gov. Spitzer to deliver critical information on a daily basis.

All of these additions to Current's lineup are aimed at achieving one simple goal -- the goal that has always been central to Current's mission: To tell stories no one else will tell, to speak truth to power, and to influence the conversation of democracy on behalf of those whose voices are too seldom heard. We, and everyone at Current, want to thank our viewers for their continued steadfast support.

Sincerely,

Al Gore & Joel Hyatt
Current's Founders

UPDATE: Keith has posted his statement on Twitter:

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.

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  • HarborGuy

    Oh my...

    This is really sad. I love KO's voice...but...I admit it...when MSNBC put Ed up against him...I started watching Ed.

    Not to ever say that KO did not have fire in the belly but ES could really fire it up.

    And Spitzer? Ugh. Not interested.

  • KansasDem

    I still miss Keith on MSNBC. Current's efforts at net-casts have been absolutely horrid, which is sad because I love a lot of their content.

  • http://www.blondetwit.com/ Blondetwit

    You never know what goes on behind closed doors, but with the repeated closing and locking of doors behind Keith, therein lies a pattern.

    I'm pissed because he was an outstanding voice for progressives, and effectively he's letting all of us down.  

  • SaturNine

    Whoa. Respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty...respect (for management) and collegiality were the hang ups with MSNBC too.

  • Paddy

    That press release is big ole spanking for Keith. And not the kind he enjoys.