CurrentTV Ranked Among Companies Likely To Disappear In 2013
CurrentTV is slated to join Air America on the list of liberal broadcasting ventures that flopped according to this list from 24/7 Wall Street.
3. Current TV
Al Gore’s Current TV was on life support even before it fired its only bankable star, Keith Olbermann, in March following a set of battles with the host over his perks. He was replaced by serial talk show host failure Eliot Spitzer. Compared to Olbermann’s March figures, Spitzer’s ratings in April were down nearly 70%, according to TV audience measurement firm Nielsen. At the time, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Replacement Eliot Spitzer pulled an anemic 47,000 total viewers in the first outing of Viewpoint, with just 10,000 among adults 25-54. The weeks since saw an early rebound, particularly in the demo, but in its four weeks on air Viewpoint has steadily declined in both respects.” Reuters recently reported that Current TV’s audience had fallen enough that cable giant Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) may have the right to discontinue carrying the channel. The closest Current TV has to a star is talk show veteran Joy Behar, a former cast member of “The View,” who had her own show canceled by CNN’s HLN in November. Gore does not have the pockets to keep a network with no future going.
I’m not sure how “bankable” even Olbermann was. His diva behavior doomed his tenure at Current to failure, but it’s worth noting that even when he was at his best on the newtork he was only pulling in a fraction of the audience he got on MSNBC.
Liberal media is a pretty well-saturated market. There’s plenty of demand for it, but unlike demand for conservative media content (which drove talk radio’s popularity in the 1980′s and 1990′s as well as the rise of Fox News and now websites like The Blaze and The Daily Caller) liberal demand for media content is well-served. MSNBC is the obvious example, but when you consider the news/editorial bent of most of the supposedly “objective” media, there’s just not a lot of need for another player in the market like Current TV.
Poor Al Gore.
By the way, the left-wing website Salon made the list too.Tags: currentTV, keith oblermann, salon