Updated 1:06 p.m. Eastern Time
Former MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann announced via Twitter today that he is becoming "Chief News Officer" at Current TV, the low-rated public affairs channel cofounded by former Vice President Al Gore.
Wrote Olbermann: "And awayyyyyy we go!"
Olbermann will host what Current calls a "Major New Nightly Primetime News and Commentary Show" on weeknights on Current. The network hailed the former sportscaster for his "slashing wit, analytical eye, and distinctive commentary."
The one-hour show is set to start in the late spring. As chief news officer, Olbermann will also provide editorial guidance for Current's primetime lineup, which is being overhauled.
In announcing the news, Olbermann had this to say: "Nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news produced independently of corporate interference." He and Gore discussed the move during a phone news conference Tuesday morning, with Olbermann stating his new show will be an "improved and amplified and stronger version" of his last one.
Olbermann abruptly quit his primetime MSNBC show, "Countdown," last month amid reports of an acrimonious relationship with the station's management. He was suspended last year for having made donations to political candidates.
An unapologetic liberal who often targeted prominent conservatives as "the worst person in the world" on his MSNBC show, Olbermann will bring a boost of visibility to Current. The network, which says it reaches 75 million households worldwide, originated five years ago in large part as a showcase for video submissions from its viewers. It now features both original and acquired series (among them reruns of Showtime's "This American Life") but remains little known to many Americans. Olbermann will have an equity stake in the company.