From Accuracy in Media‘s Don Irvine:
Keith Olbermann’s new show on Current TV has hit an apparent snag as the New York Post reports that the former MSNBC anchor is having difficulty hiring staff and is now trying to raid his former network:
Gasbag Keith Olbermann can’t seem to wrangle staff for his Current TV show, “Countdown.” Still in need of an executive producer and other staff, famously difficult Olbermann has crawled back to his contacts at MSNBC, many of whom he offended while there, to beg for staff. “Everyone is laughing,” said a source. “They would never leave the network to work for him.”
A rep for Current TV disputed that report and told the Post that Olbermann is “assembling a first class team” and that they will be announcing the EP shortly, but the show is only five weeks away from its debut and not having a staff in place at this point does not bode well for Keith.
In the meantime, EP or no, Current did announce their first batch of contributors to the new program:
NEW YORK – MAY 11, 2011 – “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the much anticipated week-nightly commentary show slated to launch on independently owned Current TV on June 20th, is announcing its first group of regular contributors, which will include notable policy-makers, documentary film makers, award-winning journalists, bloggers comedians and other progressive voices. Lending their views and voices to “Countdown” on a regular basis will be film maker Ken Burns, Nicole D. Lamoureux, Executive Director, National Association Of Free Clinics, comedian Richard Lewis, film maker Michael Moore and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas.
“I’m delighted and honored that so many of my friends – who are not coincidentally among the top progressive and entertainment voices in the country today – will be joining me as contributors to “Countdown” on Current,” said Olbermann, Current TV’s Chief News Officer as well as the show’s host and Executive Producer. “I hope these talented individuals, and the others we are to announce in these weeks before the premiere on June 20 will give viewers a sense of the strength and depth of the franchise we’re assembling.”
In other words, they are going to find as many left-wing media and Hollywood types as they can to parade in front of viewers whether or not they actually know anything. But I find it hard to believe that Keith will actually give them much airtime based on his penchant for dominating his old program on MSNBC.
Current has bet heavily that Olbermann will be able to boost their average viewership from 25,000 to something more ratings worthy, but with limited reach, this is a bet that could easily go sour very quickly.