Olbermann May Have Current TV Deal

Posted by puguh on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Olbermann May Have Current TV Deal. The former host of MSNBC's "Countdown," who left the network last month after a series of public disputes with its management, will disclose his next step Tuesday in a telephone conference.

Mr. Olbermann's plans may include a deal with public affairs channel Current TV, which former Vice President Al Gore helped found among others, according to a person familiar with the matter. Representatives for Current TV did not return calls for comment.

Mr. Olbermann is likely to pursue a range of initiatives, including a possible Internet venture or radio deal, according to people familiar with the situation. His situation remains fluid, they said.

When he left MSNBC, Mr. Olbermann told colleagues he was going to move online, one person familiar with the matter said. The Internet domain name TheOlbermannShow.com was registered two days before he bid viewers goodbye on the air. Shortly after, he activated a new Twitter account entitled "FOKNewsChannel," an abbreviation for "Friends of Keith."

Within just days of his departure, the top-rated news anchor hired public relations firm 42 West to help unveil his future career plans. The New York Times website on Monday evening reported a possible deal with Current TV.

Mr. Olbermann's abrupt depature from MSNBC set off a string of rumors that have swirled around the former sports anchor, including that he could marshal his popularity—he drew about a million viewers a night on MSNBC--into a show on another network.

But, as part of his roughly $7 million settlement with MSNBC, the anchor signed a non-compete agreement that keeps him off rival television networks for a set period of time, at least several months. Three people familiar with the matter said the non-compete applies only to specific competitors in cable news and broadcast news—not including Current TV.

Source: http://online.wsj.com

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