Keith Olbermann blasted his former employer Current TV in a lawsuit demanding about $70 million in compensation for terminating the anchor before his contract expired.
“After being enticed to leave MSNBC and come to Current with the promise of editorial control, freedom from corporate influence, and the professional support to produce high-caliber political commentary show of the type his viewers have come to expect, Keith Olbermann was disheartened to discover [Current TV founders] Al Gore, Joel Hyatt, and the management of Current are no more than dilettantes portraying entertainment executives.”
The outspoken pundit was fired from the modest-sized cable network last week. He alleges in a lengthy complaint that Hyatt “created an environment in which major business errors and technical failures became commonplace and acceptable.”
Olbermann says the network was so plagued by technical problems that even after eight months the network “couldn’t manage to, literally, keep the lights on.” The anchor’s complaints say his bosses used guest hosts for Olbermann’s show without his permission, wouldn’t give him editorial control, declined to establish a strong Internet presence, bungled the handling of ratings data, bashed Olbermann publicly and otherwise refused to invest in the show.
“Olbermann is a person of unquestionable integrity who feels a genuine sense of duty to his audience,” the lawsuit adds. “Gore and Hyatt were far too willing to deny Olbermann and his audience the open platform Olbermann was promised in order to marginally increase their considerable personal wealth.”