Al Jazeera has purchased Al Gore's Current TV, giving them a much wider American audience. However, the deal suffered an immediate casualty when Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal. "Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
Current TV has been pretty low on the media radar since it's founding by a forward-thinking former Vice President. As a network based around documentary-style journalism and viewer-generated content, Current has struggled to find both an audience and a solid direction, with it's largest headlines generated by a run-in with North Korea. This may change with the announcement that former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann (previously) has been hired as Chief News Officer and host of a new prime-time news program.
Still hyped by his local press as a "neglected rock-and-roll genius" Ralph F. Gean is an old rockabilly guy who almost "made it" back in the early 1960s… but didn’t… and then sort of did after all. [more inside]
Bill Clinton makes secret trip to North Korea, wins pardon and apparent release of two captive US journalists. Jailed reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee, employees of Al Gore's Current TV, were arrested for spying in March and had recently been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp. The remarkable development is likely to boost to Clinton's battered image. [more inside]
Lost Vegas is a documentary that follows Laura Ling as she tours the wreckage of Sin City, from unemployed strippers and half-built, abandoned casino projects, to hospitals turning away cancer patients and ambulances, to one of the few remaining boom industries--evicting people. [more inside]