Cooler heads prevailed as Keith Olbermann and Current TV worked out a deal for the network’s reportedly unhappy star to run election coverage after the New Hampshire primary.
“I’m pleased to tell you that I’ll be running the election coverage on Current, after New Hampshire. Not sure GOP will share my satisfaction,” Olbermann tweeted Sunday night.
Current also confirmed the news.
“Keith has indicated that he will do upcoming special election coverage,” a spokesperson told TheWrap. “We certainly hope that he does. We’re looking forward to it.”
This ends more than a week of rumors and reports about the former MSNBC and ESPN host’s future at the small but growing network. His lawyer Patricia Glaser previously confirmed that Olbermann’s team and the network were having conversations about his “rights,” and sources on both sides confirmed that there were differences of opinion over his involvement in election coverage.
Olbermann did not participate in Current’s coverage of the Iowa caucus nor did he take part in previous specials following GOP debates.
It was after Iowa that word of his dissatisfaction, aggravated by the network’s technical problems, began to spread quickly. Despite the occasional jab at this network, including filming his show by candlelight, Olbermann has repeatedly and forcefully disputed the notion that he is disgruntled on Twitter.
It remains unclear what the format of the coverage with Olbermann will be, which, according to individuals with knowledge of the situation, has been one of the central disputes. Olbermann wants to anchor his normal show, “Countdown,” while Current wants the “Politically Direct” special it has previously run. The latter involves some of Current’s other personalities — Cenk Uygur, Jennifer Granholm, and, most notably, former Vice President Al Gore.
However, Olbermann is the executive producer and it is believed his contract gives him editorial control in such circumstances. Olbermann also received a sizable amount of shares in Current upon signing his five-year contract, which made him not just a prime time anchor but Chief News Officer.