Keith Olbermann held a conference call this morning ahead of his new Countdown show, which is launching on Current TV on Monday.
During the call Olbermann revealed he has not watched MSNBC for more than five minutes since he left it.
He also claimed, to the likely disappointment of bloggers everywhere, he has no plans on continuing his feud with FOX’s Bill O’Reilly, something that he says was originally suggested to him by Norah O’Donnell who felt at the time that O’Reilly had “lost a little bit on his fastball.”
In a ‘special comment’ at the end of the call Olbermann warned reporters that any ratings spin we hear following Monday’s show is “bullshit” and clarified that the only ratings Current is interested in the the ones that come down the pipe in 2013 and that they are “in this for the long haul.”
Olbermann began the call by announcing a rather impressive line-up of high profile contributors including Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, Donald Sutherland and Ken Burns.
Once again he continued to emphasise that his new show — unlike (presumably) past shows — will be entirely independent, noting that he’s “stopped himself from stopping himself” from writing things that might cause sponsors offence. He also maintained that not having a news operation in places like Washington will not be an issue “when we need a reporter, we’ll have a reporter.”
Finally, Olby reassured listeners that his reported salary estimates have been exaggerated but wouldn’t provide specific numbers.
Full release about Current’s new line-up of contributors below.
“Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the highly-anticipated weeknight commentary show slated to launch on independently owned Current TV on June 20th at 8PM ET(replayed at 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. ET) announced today that veteran television anchor David Shuster will serve as the primary guest host for occasions when Keith Olbermann is unable to be in-studio, as well as an additional number of regular contributors, which include notable policy-makers, thought leaders, journalists, comedians, activists and other progressive voices. Lending their views and voices to “Countdown” on a regular basis will be Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi; John Dean, Former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon; Heather McGhee, Director of the Washington office of Demos, a non-partisan policy centre; Jonathan Turley, law professor at The George Washington University School of Law; comedian and activist Maysoon Zayid; Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones energy and environmental reporter and investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill. Actor Donald Sutherland and Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Planetarium Director for the Franklin Institute will also regularly appear on the program. Mr. Pitts, like previously announced Countdown contributor Ken Burns, will be contributing non-political elements to the show.
“Once again I have the pleasure of welcoming home so many old friends to this medium’s new primary network for progressive news, and am delighted they’ll be helping me defend Freedom Of Television,” said Olbermann, Current TV’s Chief News Officer.
These contributors join other “Countdown” contributors who were previously announced (press release available here).
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” marks the return to the airwaves for Olbermann, one of journalism’s most provocative and outspoken voices, on independently-owned Current, which was founded in 2005 by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt and is now distributed in more than 75 million households around the world. The series leads a programming slate on Current that is dedicated to providing insightful analysis of important issues — and digging deep into real stories to uncover how they affect real people. The network’s original, long-form programming includes “Vanguard,” an award-winning documentary series whose 2011 slate will debut after “Countdown” at 9 p.m. ET on June 20; and “4th and Forever,” the documentary series premiering about the extraordinary players, coaches and families behind the Long Beach Poly football program (which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET).
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