'Young Turks' to be lead-in to Olbermann
Outspoken former MSNBC commentator Cenk Uygur has landed a new gig right next to another outspoken former MSNBC commentator. The pundit’s “The Young Turks” will run on Current TV at 7 p.m. as a lead-in to “Countdown With Keith Olbermann.”
Uygur anchored 6 p.m. show “MSNBC Live” from January of this year until June, when he was pulled from the slot. Uygur left MSNBC, telling Pacifica Radio’s left-wing news show “Democracy Now” that he had been chastised for his tone by network brass.
A spokesman for MSNBC, however, said the cabler was simply looking to move Uygur to a different timeslot. Al Sharpton has taken over the net’s 6 p.m. hour.
Current prexy David Bohrman said the net was looking to continue hiring pundits for five-a-week strip programs, and co-founder Al Gore said journos “wouldn’t have long to wait” to learn of the net’s choice for the 9 o’clock hour.
“We will do a 9 p.m. program,” said Bohrman. “By and large it’ll be on every day. Weekends are an interesting question; there are some things we’ll try to make more episodic, but we’ll be adding programs across the week uniformly.”
The move gives Current two outspoken former cable pundits around which to build its schedule. The tiny network is rebranding itself from its original user-generated mandate to a 24-hour news and commentary channel, with Olbermann as its public face.
“I was dying to get some progressives on television for a long, long time,” Uygur told Variety. “When Keith Olbermann started doing his special comments, it took off like a rocket. That’s what we want to do here.”