UPDATED: Olbermann to Current TV as Primetime Host and Chief News Officer

UPDATED: In a conference call, Keith Olbermann and Vice President Al Gore announced Tuesday that Olbermann will host a new, hour-long primetime news show on Current TV beginning in spring. He will also act as Executive Producer of the show and Chief News Officer of the Network.

“Nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference,” Olbermann said. “In Current Media, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have created the model truth-seeking entity.”

According to EW, Olbermann also noted, “None of this should be directed at my nine full-time previous employers — there is nothing wrong with people making money and corporations being involved in covering information –  provided there is an avenue in which those marketing forces are not the deciding factor in what we are doing. Current is not only the leading independent network, it’s the only one. To underscore and support that is my great privilege.”

In the call, Gore described Olbermann as “a gifted thinker, an amazing talent and a powerful communicator,” as well as “truly one of the unfettered voices on TV” and “one of our society’s most courageous talents.”

Go here to see Current's website for Olbermann's new show and get a glimpse of his 'verbal pyrotechnics.'

Keith Olbermann once again had the internet going nuts yesterday when it was learned that he'd be making a big announcement about the future of his career today. Last night, the New York Times reported that his PR firm arranged a conference call with media for this morning via email, which included the missive, '“He and his new partners will make an exciting announcement regarding the next chapter in his remarkable career.” 'People close to the deal,' according to the Times, said that Current TV, the digital public affairs station which was co-founded by Vice President Al Gore, is in the works.

It's unclear whether a potential deal with Current would include a Countdown-like show since Countdown was gutted by MSNBC, or if Olbermann would be involved in another capacity. But according to the Times, neither of the involved parties denied that Current 'will become at least one partner in Mr. Olbermann’s future media plans.'

Current airs in about 60 million homes as opposed to MSNBC's 85 million, and is generally only available via paid digital subscription. That's a viewership cut, but it's also an ideal place for Keith to land, with its express and open progressive, populist slant. Also: as a non-major network, a deal likely wouldn't violate the non-compete agreement in his severence with MSNBC.

Meanwhile, others speculate that Olbermann could be headed for the bright horizon of web video... here's to hoping it's both. The announcement will be made at 11 AM EST; stay tuned for updates.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at February 8, 2011, 3:12am