It seems that Keith Olbermann's termination from Current TV will lead to a bitter war between the two camps. The cable channel announced on Friday, March 30 that it fired its lead anchor after hiring him one year ago, claiming that Olbermann no longer respects the network's "values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers."
Sharing his own side of the story, Olbermann soon took it to Twitter to say, "I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better." He added, "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," he continued in his long note. Saying the claims against him that are implied in Current's statement are untrue, he declared that it "will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently."
To replace the "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" host, former New York Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer has been tapped to take over the 8 P.M. time slot with a new program called "Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer", effective Friday night. "We are confident that our viewers will be able to count on Governor Spitzer to deliver critical information on a daily basis," Gore and Hyatt said in a statement.
While Current declined interview requests about the termination, an insider revealed that the decision was prompted by a series of errors made by Olbermann, including breaching his contract by not showing up to work, sabotaging the network and attacking Current. The 53-year-old political commentator, who was an anchor at MSNBC before joining Current, missed 19 of 41 working days during January and February.