Al Gore’s Current TV to ‘evaluate’ buyout offers

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, October 26, 2012 9:56 EDT
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Former Vice President Al Gore appears pained while speaking about Current TV in Italy on May 8, 2008. Photo: Flickr user simone.brunozzi, creative commons licensed.
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Al Gore’s progressive talk station Current may soon be sold off, a report said Friday.

“Current has been approached many times by media companies interested in acquiring our company,” Current CEO Joel Hyatt reportedly told The New York Post. “This year alone, we have had three inquiries. As a consequence, we thought it might be useful to engage expertise to help us evaluate our strategic options.”

The network — home to progressive opinion shows like “The Young Turks,” “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” “Say Anything! with Joy Behar” and “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer” — remade itself after former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was unceremoniously cut loose from the network. Unfortunately, Current and Olbermann couldn’t see eye-to-eye on a host of things and the show was plagued with technical issues before management gave him the boot.

In Olbermann’s wake, Current struggled to gain ratings, launching numerous new progressive opinion shows and innovative presidential debate coverage featuring live fact checking via Twitter. While these fresh efforts have helped improve the numbers, it may not be enough to save Current.

The Post noted that Current still pulled in almost $100 million last year from advertising and pay-TV operators, but the largest chunk of that was under threat in April after Time Warner cautioned Current that it could be taken off its network due to low ratings. That hasn’t happened yet, but it presumably still could — giving reason for executives to talk seriously about cashing out before the company loses a significant portion of its value.

Photo: Flickr user simone.brunozzi, creative commons licensed.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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