Just one day after Keith Olbermann filed a lawsuit against his former employer Current TV, the network fired back, filing a suit of their own against the outspoken TV host.
Though it’s not as juicy as Olbermann’s suit, which called Current TV founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt incompetent “dilettantes,” Current’s countersuit does defend the network against many of Olbermann’s claims.
The suit offers a detailed list of Olbermann’s alleged infractions, which Current says amount to a breach of contract.
Here are some of the most interesting allegations:
- He refused to use the $250,000 set designed for him because a technical glitch during a broadcast caused the lights to turn off temporarily.
- After finding out that a photograph of Countdown’s original set was leaked by a set designer, he emailed Current co-founder Joel Hyatt asking, “Can you assassinate him please?”
- He also once caused a “potentially dangerous situation” after throwing a glass mug, causing it to shatter.
- He wouldn’t promote his and other shows on the network, including “The Young Turks with Cenk Uygur” and “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.” Olbermann’s defence was that he wasn’t consulted about hiring either Uygur or Granholm, which according to the suit was not true. He later said he wouldn’t promote them because he didn’t like the shows.
- Olbermann refused to participate in the network’s coverage of the Iowa primary but later told the Hollywood Reporter that he wasn’t given a “legitimate opportunity” to host the coverage under “acceptable conditions.”
- He took vacations whenever he wanted. From the suit: “Mr Olbermann unilaterally announces his vacation without consulting anyone, and occasionally gives no more than 24 hours’ notice of his intention to take vacation.”
- He chose his own guest hosts without notifying the network. His most frequent choice was David Shuster, whom the network didn’t think could “retain most of Countdown’s audience.”
- Olbermann leaked details of his contract after being specifically told not to.
All told, however, the network seems most critical over the fact that after paying him $10 million a year, Olbermann failed to improve the network’s ratings.
According to the suit, the network is seeking damages based on Olbermann’s “repeated and continuing material breaches,” court expenses, and any other relief the Court deems proper, although it is not clear how much compensation Current is looking for.
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