KEITH OLBERMANN FIRED BY CURRENT TV
Keith Olbermann is out of work again. This time he was fired by Current TV, the channel founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, who contended that Olbermann had broken his five-year, $50-million contract. Gore and Hyatt issued a statement announcing Olbermann’s departure but included no mention of any specific action by the liberal commentator that warranted his dismissal after scarcely one year. In general terms, the statement said that Current was “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.” He will have no opportunity to address those comments on Current tonight. He is being replaced, beginning immediately, by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who himself was dropped by CNN last July after only nine months on the job. Olbermann’s several absences at critical times was generally believed to have triggered his dismissal. His feud with Current executives became public last January after he refused to host the channel’s special election coverage. At the time those close to Olbermann theorized that he was dragging his heels to induce Current’s owners to upgrade its technical facilities after critics complained that his show looked as if it were being produced by a public access channel. They compared its elemental set, graphics, and lighting to the whiz-bang studio created for conservative commentator Glenn Beck on Beck’s own channel. Olbermann had no immediate comment on his dismissal.