Co-Founder Joel Hyatt is taking over as CEO for the network he founded with former vice president Al Gore
Mark Rosenthal, CEO of Current TV, is leaving the company and co-founder Joel Hyatt is taking over all top executive duties.
Rosenthal, former President of MTV, had been sharing CEO duties with Hyatt in recent months. The arrangement ultimately did not work out.
The departing exec had originally succeeded Hyatt in the top executive role in 2009 after the co-founder resigned in wake of a failed IPO.
Rosenthal came aboard to provide additional programming expertise given his success at MTV. He was responsible for bringing in Keith Olbermann, who is at the center of the network’s new wave of programming.
Olbermann, who holds the title of Chief News Officer, relaunched “Countdown” on Current June 20. The network's ratings jumped immediately. According to Nielsen, the first show attracted 179,000 viewers in the coveted 25-54 demo — more than twice as many as CNN.
"Countdown" has challenged CNN in the 8 p.m. slot despite the fact that CNN is available in 73 percent more houesholds. In the week of July 11, Current grew its demo audience by 15 percent to 106,748 while CNN's declined 34 percent to 118,516.
That is still for just one time slot, which is why similar news and commentary shows are expected to follow.
"During Mark's tenure, Current has become a focused cable network with a world class leadership team, a new brand identity, a move towards long-form, ratings-driven factual programming and a solid foundation for growth," a Current spokesperson said.
Despite Rosenthal's prominent role in the programming, Hyatt, who founded the struggling network with former vice president Al Gore, had remained very involved even in the period after he stepped down from the CEO slot.
Hyatt and Gore launched the network back in 2005, and its focus has shifted frequently since then.