If you didn’t think that California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom had national political ambitions, then think again. It was announced yesterday that Current TV has hired Newsom to host his own show beginning in May.
Newsom, who served as mayor of San Francisco for seven years, was elected to his current post in 2010 and becomes the first sitting politician that I can recall hosting a nationally cablecast television show. While he was mayor, he hosted a local radio call-in show, but that is very different from a daily television show.
Current, which is trying to move past its debacle with Keith Olbermann, will be paying Newsom an unspecified salary, which his spokesperson said he would donate to charity.
And he won’t have to go very far as Current is based in San Francisco.
Here is part of what Current said in announcing the hiring of Newsom:
The hour-long talk show will have a decidedly California touch as Newsom interviews notables from Silicon Valley, Hollywood and beyond. “The Gavin Newsom Show” will be executive produced by Mia Haugen a former executive at The Street, Forbes and CNN.
“Gavin Newsom is a courageous leader who has boldly seized every opportunity to create positive social change,” commented Current TV Chairman and former Vice President Al Gore. “First as a successful entrepreneur, then in his role as Mayor of San Francisco, and now as Lieutenant Governor, Newsom touches many worlds – business, politics, entertainment and activism. We are honored that Current TV will be bringing his curiosity, intelligence, insights and enthusiasm to television.”
And even more importantly to Current, his decidedly liberal political view.
Newsom now gets his shot at the national stage, thanks to Current. But with the network’s miniscule ratings, he may find that it really won’t do much for his national ambitions.