Current TV, looking to build on the ratings gains since bringing on former MSNBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) progressive talker Keith Olbermann as chief news officer and primetime host earlier this year, has named veteran broadcast and cable television executive David Bohrman as president. The move comes little more than a week after Current TV CEO Mark Rosenthal stepped down and was replaced by the cable net’s co-founder Joel Hyatt.
The sudden departure of Rosenthal, which came after several months that had the former Viacom (NYSE: VIA) and ad agency exec sharing power with Hyatt, has rattled staffers at the network just as it was starting to gain some real traction with viewers.
While Bohrman is not a deal-maker like Rosenthal, his presence is thought to bring a better sense of focus to the channel’s political coverage. Initially created by Hyatt and former Vice President Al Gore as a web-centric cable channel that would serve to promote a more progressive news bent, Current TV became mostly known for short-form fare and the occassional documentary. Rosenthal sought to fashion it as a more traditional TV network.
In that sense, Bohrman’s role is similar, in terms of his understanding of the traditional positioning of a news organization.
For the past decade, Bohrman was CNN’s senior vice president of programming and Washington, DC bureau chief, and in May of this year, he became CNN’s SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Worldwide. As Current’s President, he will be based in New York and San Francisco, and will oversee programming, production, broadcast operations, digital and technology. He will also work Olbermann, who is host of Current’s centerpiece program, Countdown. His first task will be developing a game plan for covering the 2012 elections.