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Last-ditch audience grab by Al Gore

Chris Smith | Collage: Danuta Mittra | June 16, 2011 | Story Best of the Bay

Here’s a thought: Could Keith Olbermann, the fulminating former MSNBC host, rescue oh-so-nice Al Gore’s Current TV from left-of-the-dial Siberia? That must be what Gore (remember when he was vice president of the United States?) is hoping. On the air since 2005, his San Francisco–based network shows a variety of worthy programs, from indie comedies to globe-circling documentaries, and claims it reaches 60 million American homes—but good luck finding anyone who’s watched it. By the time you read this, however, Olbermann will be roasting Republicans and excoriating CEOs on Current’s airwaves. It’s hard to know how many of his fans will follow him there, but as TVNewser’s Alex Weprin says, “Even a fraction of his MSNBC numbers would be really significant.” (Olbermann’s old show drew a million viewers, compared with Current’s average audience of 23,000, which makes it about as popular as pro volleyball.) If the experiment works, come election time next year liberals across the country may just get their nightly political fix from Current instead of from Olbermann’s former stomping ground (apologies to Rachel Maddow). Mon–Fri at 8 p.m. on Channel 107 on Comcast, and 358 on Directv


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