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Summary:

Contractual rules prevent Current.tv from launching Keith Olbermann’s daily show until late spring, but that doesn’t stop the former MSNBC commentator from going in front of the camera. Olbermann posted a few clips on his own site this week, drumming up support for his upcoming show.

keith olbermann

Keith Olbermann made a low-profile return in front of the camera this week, posting three videos on his Foknewschannel.com website. The clips are clearly targeting Olbermann’s old MSNBC TV audience, using common staples of his former show like the “special comment” and the “worst person of the day,” and were immediately were celebrated by fans.

Keith Olbermann abruptly left his job at MSNBC three months ago, and has since signed up with the much smaller Current.tv cable network. Olbermann joined Current as its chief news officer, and he is also going to host a daily news show similar to his show on MSNBC. However, contractual rules prevent Current from launching the show until late spring, and Olbermann made no secret this week that his online videos are meant to tide people over:

Foknewschannel.com, which is billed as an acronym for “friends of Keith,” is an obvious pun at Fox News, but it’s also a stab at MSNBC. Olbermann bills the site as his “official not-for-profit blog,” avoiding any obvious reference to Current.tv, likely to avoid any contractual disputes. Of course, that doesn’t stop Olbermann from telling everyone that there’s going to be more of this on Current.tv soon.

Olbermann isn’t the first celebrity to use online video while absent from the TV screen. Conan O’Brien used YouTube videos and live streams  to drum up interest in his TBS show, and Charlie Sheen recently turned to Ustream as an outlet after being fired from his network sitcom. However, there’s a chance Olbermann fans will see more of him online even after his show on Current.tv starts.

Network co-founder Joel Hyatt told Beet.tv earlier this month that Current intends to bring Olbermann to many different platforms. “We are gonna expand the availability of his insights, of his commentary, of his analysis to every other device, every other platform,” said Hyatt, adding that the goal isn’t to repackage his TV show, but provide additional media for “every device you use.”

  1. “..tie people over…” snicker, snicker.. >> http://linguistlist.org/issues/10/10-283.html

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    1. Yes, realized that after the fact as well. We corrected it.

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  2. Why is this tech news and why do we care? Stick to tech and leave the politic and “celebrity” news to someone else.

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    1. Ogman, NewTeeVee is not just about the technology, but also the business of online video. And if celebrities like Olbermann embrace online video, then that’s not only a validation of the space, but it’s also a business story that tells us something about the future of TV in general.

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  3. Chief “news” officer?

    Olbermann was a fading star on MSNBC and now he’ll totally disappear in the unseen desert of Current.tv.

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  4. Chief “news” officer?

    Olbermann was a fading star on MSNBC and now he’ll totally disappear in the unseen desert of Current.tv.

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  5. Chief “news” officer?

    Olbermann was a fading star on MSNBC and now he’ll totally disappear in the unseen desert of Current.tv.

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  6. I don’t come to this web site to read your political perspective!

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    1. Jim, where in this article did you find me talk about my political point of view?

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      1. Ok Janko, show us all your neutral, leaning right articles that would provide a balance. There are foul personalities on both sides, you’ve simply decided to showcase one of the worst. That’s your perspective.

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  7. I don’t think the article is political, but I also don’t think it really underscores what this means to the online video marketplace. Another host that is actually making money in the online video area is Glenn Beck.

    According to NY Times he is making $4 million a year from his venture and may leave Fox News at the end of the year to pursue that full time. As NYT points out, that would be a watershed event if a popular host “brand” such as Beck turned his back on traditional media and started an internet channel as his main outlet.

    I searched this site and did not find anything written about that. Maybe that shows bias by omission as Beck is not as “cool” as Olbermann, but the topic of what he is doing is very relevant to online video.

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  8. Suspect me and lots of others just got totally turned off when logging on to great tech site only to read some propaganda about a hard core left wing hate monger. Sorry to hear about your sympathies to these kind of people and learn that what I though was objective reviews of technology are tainted with ideology.

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