Less than a year after Current TV introduced Keith Olbermann to the lineup in a bid to broaden its appeal, the network said Friday that it had ended its relationship with the host. It said his show is being replaced immediately with one featuring former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
"Current was founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers," Current said in an announcement posted on its site and attributed to founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt. "Unfortunately, these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it."
Mr. Olbermann blamed Current."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," he said in a statement posted on Twitter. "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," Mr. Olbermann wrote.
Current brought Mr. Obermann onboard in a deal announced in February 2011 that gave him equity in the channel and named him chief news officer. But the host was soon clashing with the network, reportedly over elements such as poor production values.
Current said Friday that "Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer" would bring insight and constructive conversation during an election year. "We are confident that our viewers will be able to count on Gov. Spitzer to deliver critical information on a daily basis," Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt wrote.
CNN canceled a show with Mr. Spitzer last July.
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