Former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV LLC dismissed its lead anchor Keith Olbermann after a year, saying he no longer represented the channel’s values.
Current TV was “founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers,” Gore and co-founder Joel Hyatt said in a letter yesterday to viewers on the company’s website today. “Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”
The progressive political outlet replaced Olbermann with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer on a new show, “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer.” Olbermann clashed with producers at Current TV earlier this year, refusing to anchor election segments and taking himself off the air.
Olbermann, 53, said on his Twitter account that he plans to take legal action against the channel.
Current TV’s claims “are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently,” he wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Current TV has 68.5 million subscribers and an estimated net operating revenue of $127 million for 2012, according to researcher SNL Kagan.
Olbermann, who left MSNBC in 2011 after serving a two-day suspension over political donations in November 2010, received equity in New York-based Current Media, according to a statement at the time.