California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom is the latest pol to join Current TV’s lineup, but he’s also a rarity in one sense: Newsom’s still in office.
The former mayor of San Francisco, who was elected to the statewide post in 2010, will host a one-hour weekly show on the cable network starting in May. “The Gavin Newsom Show” will have a “decidedly California touch,” with guests including notables from Silicon Valley and Hollywood, presumably expanding the scope of topics beyond politics.
He joins a network lineup that includes two former governors, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Eliot Spitzer of New York, who each host primetime shows.
Newsom’s weekly format will not be as demanding, which is a key point since he’s still serving as an elected official. The state position pays a salary of $130,490, and Newsom informed Current that he would donate his compensation for the talkshow to charity. A spokeswoman for Current declined to disclose how much he will be paid, although it could be disclosed in public documents of elected officials’ financial interests.
His hiring comes as the channel seeks to bolster its lineup, especially since the firing of Keith Olbermann, its signature personality, several weeks ago.
Current co-founder Al Gore said that Newsom “touches many worlds: business, politics, entertainment and activism.”
When he was governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura took a gig as an announcer during NBC’s coverage of fledgling football league the XFL. Some lawmakers in the state criticized Ventura, saying he shouldn’t be moonlighting while serving in the state’s highest office.
By contrast, even Newsom has suggested that his position as lieutenant governor isn’t as demanding as that of California governor. He once said that the spot has “no real authority and no real portfolio.” Newsom has since used the platform to try to advance initiatives in education and the environment.