By Brian Stelter / New York Times / February 8, 2011
Keith Olbermann, the former MSNBC anchor and liberal firebrand, will host a prime-time program for Current TV , the low-rated cable channel co-founded by Al Gore, starting in the spring.
The as-yet untitled hour of news and commentary will effectively mimic “Countdown,” the MSNBC program that Mr. Olbermann created eight years ago and quit hosting last month. Mr. Olbermann told reporters on a conference call Tuesday that the new program would be “an improved, and we hope amplified and stronger, version of the show that I just did.”
Current is betting that Mr. Olbermann will put the channel on the cable map — and it needs the help. It averages just 23,000 viewers in prime time each night.
Mr. Olbermann drew about 1 million viewers to his MSNBC program each night. This is “the best investment that Current has ever made,” said Joel Hyatt, who founded the channel with Mr. Gore.
Mr. Olbermann will have an equity stake in the company, and he will also have a management role. As the chief news officer, he will develop new programs and provide editorial guidance to the channel’s journalists.
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