Keith Olbermann Apparently to Sit Out of Coverage of Start of Election Year

Dec 30, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Keith Olbermann, who moved from MSNBC to Current TV earlier this year, apparently is sitting out of the network’s coverage of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary in January,reports Brian Stelter at the New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.

Current’s prime-time anchors Cenk Uygur and Jennifer Granholm will instead be joined by Current TV Chairman Al Gore, the former U.S. vice president, the story says, citing the network’s TV schedule. Olbermann was also absent during two special reports that aired after the mid-December Republican debates, the piece points out.

"These absences suggest that there may be new tension between Mr. Olbermann and the managers at Current, who are trying to create a progressive-oriented cable news channel," Stelter writes. He adds that Olbermann is "well known for fights with his bosses; stories abound about his refusal to speak to managers and executives."

"At Current, this behavior has continued, according to four people with knowledge of the situation, one of whom described Mr. Olbermann as ‘disgruntled’," the story notes.

But when contacted via email, Olbermann suggested that the TV schedule might be inaccurate, according to the article. "That’s not my understanding. We’ve already prepared a ‘Best Of Countdown’ for Monday, and are planning a live Countdown on Tuesday," he said.

But the TV schedule shows Current TV pre-empting "Countdown" on Jan. 2 for a two-hour preview hosted by Uygur, the piece points out. And on Jan. 3, the network has three hours of live coverage planned, without Olbermann, the story notes.

Current president David Bohrman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, according to the piece.

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