Al Gore is riding to the rescue of his TV network -- just in time for the big political conventions.
Earlier this year, Current, the upstart outlet the Nobel laureate and former vice president co-founded, got a black eye when it fired commentator Keith Olbermann, partly over disagreements about how the network was covering the primaries. Olbermann lashed back against his former bosses with a lawsuit that’s still pending.
This week, Current revealed that none other than Gore himself will host the network’s coverage of the Republican National Convention later this month, when Mitt Romney is expected to be crowned the official GOP nominee. Early next month, Gore will do the honors again for the Democratic gathering, where President Obama will be renominated.
The coverage will air nightly starting at 4 p.m. Pacific time during the conventions.
“I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive lineup throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions,” Gore wrote in a statement.
The question is whether his appearance will be enough to move the ratings needle for Current. Although Olbermann’s ratings weren’t considered hugely impressive, the network has been badly hit by his absence, at least in prime time. In March -- the last month Olbermann was there -- Current was averaging 66,000 total viewers between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. and ratings had generally been on an upward swing, according to Nielsen. But by June, that prime-time average had slumped to just 35,000.
Gore’s presence, therefore, may add a bit more star power to a network that could desperately use some.
What do you think of Gore and Current?