Apparently when Keith Olbermann was fired he took most of the viewers with him as Current TV’s ratings for 8 PM have dropped by more than 66% without Countdown.
TVNewser reported that the Elliot Spitzer’s debut drew only 47,000 viewers compared to Olbermann’s March average of 152,000. Obermann averaged almost as many viewers in the 25-54 demo (42,000) as Spitzer did overall. Keith Olbermann has had a stormy year plus, but right now it looks like Current is the big loser here.
Unlike when Olbermann left MSNBC last year, Current doesn’t have the depth of talent required to replace Countdown. Without Olbermann, MSNBC has been able to soldier on because of the talent that the Countdown host helped build at the network. After experimenting with The Last Word at 8 PM, MSNBC seems to have figured it out and is having success with The Ed Show. Because of the threat posed by Olbermann and Current, MSNBC locked up much of their future talent like Chris Hayes. (Ironically, in the long run Keith Olbermann’s time at Current may end up strengthening MSNBC more than Al Gore’s network).
It appears that Keith Olbermann was a big part of the reason that people were watching Current. Most of the viewers that Olbermann brought in haven’t stuck with them since he left, which really makes one question what Current was thinking in the first place. If they were going to use Olbermann as a marquee star to boost the whole network, they really needed to stick to that plan and keep the Countdown host happy, no matter how difficult that may be.
Current lost any momentum that they may have built with Olbermann. They also lost their one big selling point to carriers and providers as to why they should be in more homes. They spent a whole lot of money, and they are pretty much right back where they started from. As for Olbermann, he will land somewhere. I still contend that if CNN would ever stop selling out to the right, Countdown could bring them the ratings that they so desperately desire.
Laughably CNN considers Olbermann too far to the left to be hired, but they will happy hire tea party hate mongers like Erick Erickson and Dana Loesh. I wonder how much further into oblivion their prime time lineup will have to sink until TeaNN realizes that they are in the midst of a total disaster?
If he wants to do Countdown, someone will hire Keith Olbermann.
It looks like Current TV is going back to being the little progressive network with great programming that no one knows about, but Al Gore and Joel Hyatt are right. There is a market out there for Current TV, but before they make another big hire, they had better be certain that they are getting the right person and that they can deliver what they promise.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
18 Replies to “After Firing Keith Olbermann Current Loses 100,000+ Viewers”
I don’t think Olbermann is too far left, I think he calls it as he sees it. And Frankly, I think he is right around 95% of the time
If someone keeps getting let go, I think there’s a problem there. I am sure he wanted to improve Current, but lets face it, did he have the temperament to stick it out. I think he will end up creating a show, putting it on HBO or something like once a month or so. I think he is too cooked to be a regular newsman any more
yes, i will not watch current tv anymore. altho i like al gore he made a big mistake firing KO. & i hope he wins his law suit
I am really disappointed at Current tv … My expectation was far more … KO is a natural shooter of progressive agendas .. None comes close to him .. I’m done with current .. Al gore u r so wrong ,, u want a market that is hungry for progressives then u have draw a line .. Go KO . Wherever u go except for ABC or FIX I’m with u
i have heard some insider tv stuff that current is going to be losing cable carriers soon. i dont forsee currentv lasting much after the elections. i hope im wrong… hey even oprah who did it right and sunk in big bucks for a pro network is losing bigtime too… i guess some stupid reality nonsense will be in the offing soon…..
I am one of those who stopped watching at %pm PST. Now I watch Ed. Elliot just doesn’t do it for me.
Current lost me when they lost Keith. He was the only reason I watched anything on their network. Now, I have precious little reason to check what’s on their schedule. He wasn’t there long enough for them to build the audience they needed.
He’s the reason I watched Current TV. I found out he moved there and immediately started watching. Current thinks The Young Turks and others will keep them alive. They’re wrong. This was a huge screw up on Al Gore’s part. The real news comes from real newsmen and Keith Olbermann is of the same ilk as Edward R. Murrow. He tells the truth, harsh as it may seem sometimes. I’m off Current TV for good if they can’t deal with the truth.
… don’t forget Lawrence O’Donnell. He was able to aptly fill Olbermann’s shoes, even more so than Ed. I’m sorry to see Olbermann couldn’t follow thru with Current. I like the idea of Current and will continue to watch YTY and Elliot. They have much to offer. Cenk makes me laugh! I love that spirit!
Let’s wait for a month’s worth of ratings before we can say that Olbermann being fired was a negative for Current. The guy was only on-air half the time he was there, anyway. How could you miss a guy who was only at work 2-3 days a week and had substitutes cover him the rest of the time?
Look, I like Keith, but it’s clear he’s got issues. No one keeps getting fired from high-profile jobs from vastly different organizations unless there’s a problem with them.
KO needs to get on OWN and create a nighttime lineup for Oprah. She needs men 24 to 52, Keith needs a network that needs to grow- perfect fit for each other
I don’t think Eliot Spitzer is terrible but he is no Keith Olbermann. I agree with the sentiment that Current should have stuck with Keith regardless of his antics. Just deal with him because he was their only selling point.
I am a KO fan and was shocked when Current fired him. However, I have to admit that I am enjoying the 2 new morning talk shows on Current. It’s great having progressive talk radio TV, who would have thought. For this reason, I hope Current survives, and maybe even gets another similar talk show. In the meantime, I wish for the best for Keith, and I am sure he will find something amazing to do.
Has anyone ever seen KO and TO (Terrell Owens) in the same room at the same time? Hmmm?
I suspect they’re the same person…
I actually know people who consider Keith Olbermann to be too right-wing and too corporatist! And they’re serious!
Personally I think Olbermann is awesome. Yes he has some attitude problems. Everyone knows that. But on air he delivers rigorous and factual commentary.
Current really screwed this up. I was only ever able to watch online. Watching it on TV is not an option. But Current only put a few short clips up. I wish they had put the whole show up. I would have watched as many ads as they needed to monetize it as well.
Olbermann criticized Current for being a rinky-dink operation. I’m convinced that he is right.
I feel bad for Cenk Uygur. This drama will probably effect his viewership as well. He’s a solid commentator though. I’ve been watching him since his show only aired on Youtube. So I wish him the best of luck.
I also like the two morning shows on Current, such a nice change from Scarboro. The War Room is pretty good too.
Amen! I agree 100% Until Keith came on board, nobody knew who or where Current was. Now that Keith is gone, nobody cares. I will follow KO wherever he goes.
Good bye Current.
Yes, I’m in the minority – I stopped watching Keith before he left MSNBC. I got tired of the “hair on fire” every time some controversy about some proposal from the Obama Administration, not yet determined, surfaced – only to be determined at a later date that there was no need for the “hair on fire”.
I have Bill Press on my DVR and have watched his show. I haven’t made a decision of what I think about the show, yet. I have also watched the new Stephanie Miller show a couple of times. She can be funny and she talks about a few relevant issues. Neither of these shows are really “news” worthy. But it’s good to hear pragmatic liberal voices in the media.
Well done Current TV, Keith Oberman is a self-absorbed personality whose inability to collaborate with others hints at a narcissistic personality disorder. He has failed continually in varied work environments that raise a Deimos question about his psychological health. When you get along with no one else, perhaps you are the problem. That is Mr. Oberman in a nutshell. Someone get him some help. And let’s consider a sympathetic response to him. But please an opinion leader, one can only hope not.
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