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Monday, June 20, 2011

Progressive stalwart, Keith Olbermann returns to Countdown on Current TV, June 20th at 8PM


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'Countdown' host Keith Olbermann program returns
on Current TV, June 20th at 8PM EST.
His re-vamped show will have several new show contributors, including Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, actor Donald Sutherland, former White House counsel John Dean, comedian Maysoon Zayid and former MSNBC anchor David Shuster as primary guest host.
In Olbermann-type fashion, he quickly downsized expectations for a initial ratings bazzar for the program on the up-start Current Network, which now scores about 23,000 viewers in its' prime-time line up
On his final preshow message, Olbermann noted he wouldn't to pay much attention to how many people do or don't watch this first telecast.
"The rating we're interested in is more for 2013, after the next election settles," said Olbermann, who is also Current's Chief News Officer. "We're in this for the long haul, to eventually build a 24-hour news network." 
Current has "no set [ratings] targets" for the first night, said Olbermann. "If the 10 technicians in the transmission truck see the show, that will be a satisfactory audience."
Still Olbermann, threw what best can be described as an pre-emptive strike at MSNBC, where he hosted "Countdown" for close to eight years before resigning in January 2011.
"You will hear a lot [about Monday's ratings] from certain of my former employers," he said on a conference call Friday. "It will all be ratings spin - bulls-." 
Current TV, founded by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, is now available in about 60 million homes, a third fewer than MSNBC.
While the new "Countdown" will be built on the same blunt progressive commentary as the old one. Olbermann has stated during various pre-show media interviews that he feels liberated working at a corporation whose only business is news.
He didn't cite any any specific instances at MSNBC, whose corporate parent is involved in multiple enterprises, where he was told what to say or not to say. Still, Olbermann's former employment, at a large corporate operated news channel had its' challenges.
"It has a self-chilling effect. You wonder if what you say will honk off some guy in the electronics division," Olbermann cited.
Olbermann took one last prelaunch soft-punch at Fox News prime-time show host Bill O'Reilly. Specifically, he expects O'Reilly will be mentioned less on his Current TV "Countdown" show because he doesn't matter as much as he used to.
"Bill's lost a little off his fastball," said Olbermann. "He doesn't carry their water that well for them anymore."

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