Accuracy in Media

Current TV continued to fill out its primetime lineup yesterday with the announcement yesterday that they were adding a new show at 9 p.m. beginning in January that will be hosted by former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm.

According to the Current TV press release, Granholm’s program “will shed light on the news of the day and will feature in-studio commentary by political insiders, campaign veterans, opinion leaders and newsmakers whose unique perspective will both inform and inspire.”

One person who is already inspired by the forthcoming show is Current TV co-founder and Chairman Al Gore who was quoted as follows in the company’s press release:

“THE WAR ROOM WITH JENNIFER GRANHOLM is at the core of Current TV’s strategy to be a trusted resource for intelligent and compelling commentary during what is sure to be a critically important election year with many complicated and emotional issues.“ He added: “Jennifer Granholm is a supremely talented and dedicated public servant whose deep understanding of the issues makes her one of the most relevant voices in politics today. She would be an asset to any news organization, and I am delighted that she has chosen Current TV as her new home. I have no doubt that her ability to illuminate and provide context to the issues of the 2012 election will prove to be of inestimable value to Current’s audience as well as to the public policy discussion surrounding the election.”

Apparently only Gore had enough vision to hire Granholm to host her own show rather than serve as a political commentator, which she has been doing on MSNBC since she left office earlier this year.

Gore is so enthusiastic that he was even quoted by Mediaite as saying that had Granholm not been born in Canada “she would have been a leading candidate for President of the United States, and would have been, very possibly, the first woman President of the United States.”

I wonder what Hillary Clinton thinks of that. The addition of Granholm will nearly complete Current TV’s goal of filling the primetime hours with its own news shows. Next month former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur will launch “The Young Turks” in the 7 p.m. hour as a lead-in to “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”

Current is hoping that the addition of these shows will give it a badly needed ratings boost. Olbermann’s show, which launched in June, is receiving much better ratings that what Current had previously programmed at 8 p.m., but after a hopeful start has sputtered. This obviously isn’t what Gore or Olbermann had envisioned. The signing of Uygur and Granholm will certainly give Current a ratings boost, considering the lack of any substantive programming except for Olbermann on the network at the present time.  But if Olbermann, who was a proven ratings star at MSNBC, is struggling to maintain an audience even one-fifth the size of his former show, what will Uygur, whose ratings were unspectacular at MSNBC, or Granholm, who isn’t a proven television host, be able to do?

Granholm said that the show will be for political junkies like herself. She said that Democrats will love it and the far right will hate it and that she was eager to get started.

That may be, but with a potential audience only two-thirds the size of MSNBC’s her challenge will be finding enough of an audience, Democrat or otherwise, to rise to even the low baseline level already established at Current.

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