David Bohrman, previously an executive at CNN, has been named the new president of Current TV, the network announced Monday.
Bohrman will begin immediately and work closely with Current's co-founders, chairman Al Gore and CEO Joel Hyatt.
Though Current has grown its viewership thanks largely to the addition of Keith Olbermann as a prime time show host and Chief News Officer, this is the second major change at the executive level in the past two weeks.
CEO Mark Rosenthal left the company in late July as Hyatt took back his old job.
Rosenthal expressed no ill will at the time, but sources inside Current did say that Hyatt's decision to reclaim his position as CEO — which he gave up in 2009 — motivated Rosenthal's depature. Having two CEOs simply did not work.
Like Rosenthal, Bohrman comes from a cable TV background, but while Rosenthal came over from the music and entertainment-focused MTV, Bohrman has a political history.
“Current’s mission has always been to shine a light on important issues, to spark debate and to speak truth to power," Gore said in a statement. "Earlier this year, we advanced this mission when we brought Keith Olbermann to Current and clearly stated our intent to be a truly independent, conflict-free, progressive voice in the news and political commentary arena.
"David Bohrman passionately shares our vision. He has innovation in his DNA, and he has the unique qualifications and relationships to take Current to a whole new level in programming and production."
Current has changed its programming mission a few times since it launched in 2005, but in its most recent incarnation it has targeted original, long-form programming, particularly of the political and social variety.
'Today more than ever, I think audiences demand intelligent discourse instead of shouting," Bohrman said in a statement." "They want a way to be part of the discourse instead of being passive outsiders. I have been watching what Al and Joel and Keith have been doing at Current, and I believe that Current has a real opportunity to be a truly vital medium for a new breed of savvy, intelligent viewers."
Here's the release:
San Francisco, August 8, 2011 – Current TV, the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning television network, has appointed veteran broadcast and cable television executive David Bohrman as President. Bohrman, an award winning journalist and news executive who for three decades has helmed political and special event news coverage for major broadcast and cable networks, begins his new post immediately.
Bohrman, known for his unique combination of news programming and technical acumen, will work closely with the network’s co-founders, Current Chairman and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and CEO Joel Hyatt.
“Current’s mission has always been to shine a light on important issues, to spark debate and to speak truth to power. Earlier this year, we advanced this mission when we brought Keith Olbermann to Current and clearly stated our intent to be a truly independent, conflict-free, progressive voice in the news and political commentary arena,” said Mr. Gore. “David Bohrman passionately shares our vision. He has innovation in his DNA, and he has the unique qualifications and relationships to take Current to a whole new level in programming and production. I very much admire David’s excellent work, his integrity, his drive and his consistent track record of innovation. He will be a tremendous leader for Current, and Joel and I are proud to have David join us in this exciting venture.”
For the past decade, Bohrman was CNN’s senior vice president of programming and Washington, DC bureau chief, and in May of this year, he became CNN’s SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Worldwide. As Current’s President, he will be based in New York and San Francisco, and will oversee programming, production, broadcast operations, digital and technology. He will also work closely with Current’s Chief News Officer Keith Olbermann, who is host of Current’s centerpiece program, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” as the network expands its primetime line-up and election coverage.
“Re-defining media in a world of consolidation requires some game-changing measures,” said Joel Hyatt. “Having Keith Olbermann join Current was a game-changer. When we sought world-class leadership in the programming, production and digital areas, David Bohrman’s name came up time and again. Al and I believe that society needs, and audiences want, programming that delivers more than sound bites. People want an explanation, they want context, they want understanding. And they want tools that will get them engaged in making a difference about issues they care about. David is highly skilled in bringing information and clear-eyed analysis on important matters to multiple screens. And no one can touch David when it comes to developing innovative ways to tap the zeitgeist and get audiences immersed and involved.”
“There has been a profound change in the media landscape in terms of what’s being covered, how it’s being covered and how audiences want to consume it,” said Mr. Bohrman. “Those of us inside the media business have a responsibility to anticipate what viewers want and need, and we must constantly reinvent the medium. Today more than ever, I think audiences demand intelligent discourse instead of shouting. They want a way to be part of the discourse instead of being passive outsiders. I have been watching what Al and Joel and Keith have been doing at Current, and I believe that Current has a real opportunity to be a truly vital medium for a new breed of savvy, intelligent viewers. I’m extremely energized and inspired by this opportunity to work with them to establish Current as a significant and influential voice in the news and political commentary arena.”
During the three-decade span of his career, Bohrman has brought some of the world’s most memorable events to television. He spent more than a dozen years at CNN, where he oversaw newsgathering, political coverage and Washington programing, including the network’s 2008 “Election Night in America,” which generated CNN’s highest primetime ratings in its history and topped every other broadcast and cable networks’ audience numbers. He served as executive producer of CNN’s Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Presidential primary campaigns and debates throughout the 2008 election season. He also oversaw several other CNN Washington-based programs including “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” “John King, USA,” and “State of the Union with Candy Crowley.” He oversaw CNN’s major political event coverage and is known for his innovative use of technology to help the network explain and expand on the issues of the day, ranging from CNN’s New York based coverage of September 11 to political conventions and Presidential inaugural events. He came to CNN as executive in charge of the “Moneyline News Hour,” and under his leadership, the show’s ratings increased by 20 percent in six months. David is widely known for having created the “magic wall” for John King and the “situation room” for Wolf Blitzer.
Prior to CNN, Bohrman held a range of leadership roles, including as CEO of Pseudo, Inc, the world’s first interactive Internet television network. He executive produced almost all of NBC News’ special news events from 1993-1997 and was part of MSNBC’s launch team, where he created two of that network’s original programs, “The Site” and “Imus in the Morning.” For 13 years before that, Bohrman was at ABC News, where in addition to being the principal creator and executive producer of its “World News Now” program and of ABC News Interactive, he was also a senior producer and part of the launch team for “Nightline.”
Bohrman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Science from Stanford University. He also earned a Masters of Science degree in Journalism from Columbia University.