Sunday, April 01, 2012

Keith Olbermann and Sarah Tressler come and go

Heavy sigh.

Keith Olbermann has been fired by Current TV, the network announced Friday. He will be replaced by former New York governor and CNN host Eliot Spitzer.

Olbermann had hosted "Countdown," which he brought from MSNBC after his exit there, since June. His short tenure began with fanfare, but ended, as many of Olbermann's previous jobs have, with deep acrimony on both sides.

Spitzer, who had his own short-lived stint as the host of "Parker Spitzer" (later called "In The Arena") on CNN, began hosting his show, "Viewpoints," immediately on Friday night. He made no mention of Olbermann or his somewhat unusual arrival to the post at the top of the show.

The news of Olbermann's termination was first reported by the New York Times' Brian Stelter. A source told Politico that Olbermann was fired for breach of contract, saying that he had "sabotaged" the network. Howard Kurtz reported that Olbermann had begun refusing to toss to other peoples' shows or appear in advertisements with them.

The feud went public in January and never calmed down. He'll be on the Late Show on Tuesday to tell his version. So where does he go now? My guess is his own webcast-by-subscription. More from the New York Mag and Mediaite, and this from The Daily Beast:

But in the short term, Olbermann and Gore will do battle in court. If the first shots fired are any indication, it’s likely to be messy and brutal. In the absence of any other ratings drivers, perhaps Current might consider broadcasting the proceedings in prime time.

Tressler, the Houston Chronicle society-writer-by-day/stripper-by-night whose story went national after her 2nd gig was discovered by the Chronicle heads, has a few things to say in advance (no doubt) of her tell-all.

Good Morning America flew her to New York and she spoke about her experience. Two things we did not know that we learned in the intro: 1) Houston is "a city famous for big oil, big spenders and genteel Southern living" (say whaaat?) and 2) the Chron is "one of the country's most prestigious newspapers." We also learned an actual important thing, one we'd been highly curious about: Had Tressler told anyone at the Chron about her semi-publicly blogging about her stripping, including putting pictures of herself out there? When asked, Tressler giggled a bit and said no, she hadn't told anyone.
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The Jane Dough takes up her cause.

Though it would have demonstrated good form on Tressler’s part to notify the Chron of her other work, if anything to give higher-ups a sense of her availability and schedule, the other staffers have no business expressing outrage over another employee’s side gig. She’s clearly trying to earn more money, and, as Connelly suggested, perhaps score a book deal of some sort. But Jezebel nicely points out that this is a major goal of most scribes, particularly those in nonfiction writing.

As you may have noted, I feel a little bit for both parties and their somewhat-voluntarily-unemployed statuses. And I expect both Olbermann and Tressler to land on their feet. I leave it to you to make any observations you choose in the comments.

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