Although no one was happy when things fell apart between Current TV and baseball blogger Keith Olbermann, several bright spots have emerged since his departure from the upstart progressive cable network. One of them has been the successful launch of the net’s morning block, headed by radio vet Bill Press. Right before today’s White House briefing, I got Bill to dish a little about Current, Mitt Romney, and his crystalline former colleague.
In our brief interview, Bill told me he is very happy at Current, and the feeling seems mutual. “Having three hours of progressive morning talk with Bill based in DC and featuring the newsmakers and those who cover them sets the daily table for our conversations,” Joel Hyatt, CEO and co-founder of Current TV, told me. “Bill is an essential part of our programming mix and we’re proud to have him.”
The morning block continues to outperform the network’s expectations, with ratings that are up about 250% from the prior year, and Bill says he’s noticed a positive effect on his already-established syndicated radio show. A wider, more diverse audience and a deeper pool of guests to draw from (TV is a more attractive medium to many people) are a few of the dividends the move has paid. I also noticed that Bill’s staff is no longer constantly woozy from donating blood.
Press started at Current the Monday before Keith Olbermann was fired, so I was surprised to learn that, even though they worked together for barely a week, hundreds of miles apart, Olbermann still managed to cause friction. Hear the story behind that, and Bill’s quick thoughts on Mitt Romney, during our brief chat:
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