Olbermann on Current TV firing: "I screwed up"

Talk show host Keith Olbermann chats with David Letterman on the "Late Show with David Letterman" Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

(CBS News) - Recently fired outspoken television personality Keith Olbermann told David Letterman Tuesday, "I screwed up. I screwed up really big on this. Let's just start there. I thought we could do this. It's my fault it didn't succeed in the sense that I didn't think the whole thing through."

Just 14 months after his abrupt departure from MSNBC, Olbermann was dropped Friday by Current TV.

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But after seeming to take the blame for his latest professional divorce, Olbermann opened up on the left-leaning network, co-founded by former vice president Al Gore, suggesting it wasn't capable of supporting him or his show.

Olbermann said, "You know if you buy a $10 million chandelier, you should have a house to put it in and just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn't going to do anybody any good. And it's not going to do any good to the chandelier."

"You're the chandelier?" Letterman asked.

"I'm the chandelier," Olbermann said.

Behind the banter is a fierce feud between Olbermann and his former employer.

Last Friday, the cable network announced that Olbermann, who had been brought in on a five-year deal reportedly worth $50 million, had been fired, saying in a statement that its relationship with Olbermann no longer reflected its "values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty to our viewers," and "We have ended it."

It turns out network execs had been feuding with Olbermann for months over issues ranging from poor production, time off during primary season, and even his car service - an issue that Letterman tackled head on.

Olbermann said, "We changed car services a number of times. And I got rid of them and maybe there were eight different car services. The problem that's left out of that side of the story was that in at least one occasion is that they stopped coming to get me because the bill hadn't been paid."

On his website, Olbermann has said a lawsuit against the network will follow.

Letterman said, "You've got your money, 'That's all I care about right?'"

"Well, up until last Thursday I got my money," Olbermann said. "The nice judge will decide whether or not I get any more of my money."

After ESPN, Fox Sports, and MSNBC, Current TV is the fourth cable network to experience a public breakup with Keith Olbermann, canceling his show after only nine months of production.

Former New York governor-turned-talk-show-host Eliot Spitzer took over Olbermann's former time slot on Current TV on Friday.

  • Jim Axelrod

    Jim Axelrod is the anchor of the Saturday edition of the "CBS Evening News" and a national correspondent for CBS News, reporting for the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley" and other CBS News broadcasts.

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