It seems that the contract Keith Olbermann signed with Current TV for $50 million dollars is now void. At least, according to Current TV, Keith Olbermann has breached the contract. That’s right, Keith Olbermann has been fired.
Current TV just released an open letter from the company’s founders, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt:
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.
Keith Olbermann has been replaced by Eliot Spitzer, who, it seems, has enough respect to make Al Gore happy. Elliot Spitzer’s show starts Friday, March 30, 2012 at 8 pm. Eliot had a show on CNN which aired for 8 months with Kathleen Parker.
Keith Olbermann will not be given the chance to “sign off” or say goodbye to his fans as the Eliot Spitzer show airs immediately. This will be Spitzer’s second chance at an 8 pm talk show (after his involvement in a prostitution ring).
MediaCoder explains some of the reasons Current TV claims Olbermann breached his contract:
In January and February, Mr. Olbermann continued to miss many days of work, as he himself acknowledged on his popular Twitter feed. He attributed some of his absences to throat problems. But Current considered some of those absences to be breaches of his contract, labeling them “unauthorized absences,” according to a person familiar with the matter, who insisted on anonymity because the executives involved had agreed not to comment on the record.
For instance, he took a vacation day on March 5, on the eve of the Super Tuesday primaries, despite a warning from Current that it would constitute a breach of contract, according to the person.
Olbermann has had a history of arguments with management that dates back to his time with ESPN and MSNBC. Olbermann has discussed his anger on Twitter. Here is his full statement:
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.
How bad would it be to be fired by Al Gore?
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