Current TV severs ties with Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann left MSNBC in January 2011 after eight years.

Story highlights

  • Keith Olbermann says he was "foolish" to join Current in the first place
  • The left-wing news personality hits Current TV's founders and promises legal action
  • Current's "values" were "no longer reflected" in its tie with Olbermann, its founders say
  • Eliot Spitzer is launching a new show in Olbermann's 8 p.m. slot
Current TV's co-founders, including former Vice President Al Gore, announced Friday that the network has ousted its highest-profile on-air personality, Keith Olbermann.
"Current was ... founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers," Gore and Joel Hyatt wrote in an "open letter" to viewers on the network's website. "Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann, and we have ended it."
Olbermann responded sharply in a series of Twitter messages Friday, saying that for more than a year he has been "imploring" Gore and Hyatt "to resolve our issues internally." He did not specify what those issues were.
"Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract," the left-wing news personality wrote.
"It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently," Olbermann added, vowing later that the "truth of the ethics" of Gore and Hyatt eventually "will come out."
Besides its statement, Current TV offered no further comment.
This marks the second time in 15 months that Olbermann has abruptly left a news network. In January 2011, he cut ties with MSNBC after eight years.
In that time, the former sports news anchor became a favorite of progressives for challenging rivals at Fox News and elsewhere.
But he also faced criticism and publicly aired his frustrations with NBC's management. The 53-year-old was suspended from MSNBC for two days after the news website Politico revealed that he had made donations to three Democrats.
Weeks after leaving MSNBC, Olbermann inked a deal with Current Media, a company founded by Gore and Hyatt. Besides hosting and producing his new prime-time nightly news and commentary show, Olbermann was named Current Media's chief news officer and had an equity stake in the company.
He relaunched his signature "Countdown" show last June, showcasing a host of liberal-leaning g