Former CNN innovation officer David Bohrman is taking over as president of Current TV, filling the gap in day-to-day leadership left when CEO Mark Rosenthal departed the cabler in July and set it on a new, analysis-heavy course.
Co-founder Joel Hyatt took the CEO role in the interim and will retain it under the network’s new corporate structure as the channel is retooled into a news and opinion cabler.
Bohrman left CNN on Friday, saying he’d been offered a new position but not where. Prior to being named chief innovation officer in March, Bohrman was the net’s senior VP of programming and D.C. bureau chief. A few years before CNN, he worked at webcasting concern Pseudo.com, and he calls himself “a true believer” in the user-generated content part of Current’s corporate strategy. He will report to founders Hyatt and Al Gore (who holds the title of chairman).
The hire heralds a new era at Current. The net is saying that Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” will be its centerpiece program and that further material will be tooled to complement it; the first concern is Olbermann’s lead-in and lead-out programs.
“We’re going to find people that have something to say,” Bohrman said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “We’re going to work extremely hard to avoid the over-equivalency back-and-forth ‘Crossfire’ kind of shouting that has characterized so much of the dysfunction that we’ve seen in cable TV and in Washington this last week.”
Bohrman, asked whether the net’s new direction would result in less of the programming that had won plaudits for the network (including a Peabody Award for documentary series “Vanguard”) but not ratings, told Variety, “?’Vanguard’ certainly isn’t going to stop tomorrow.”
“I’m already proud of ‘Vanguard’ even though it’s my first day. It fits in with the mission of the network,” he said.
The exec admitted, though, that “we’re going to have to look at resources.”
Hyatt said Olbermann, since his departure from MSNBC, has “performed amazingly well” and that the success had set the net on a much different course.
“Much of what we have done is going away,” Hyatt said.