I was asked by a viewer why we didn’t report the firing of Keith Olbermann at Current TV. After all, she said, it was all over the “twitterverse.” That it was.
Olbermann’s departure from the lightly watched cable network just wasn’t newsworthy to our viewers. According to our research folks here at WFSB, the number of people watching Olbermann’s “Countdown” show on Current was so small in the Hartford/New Haven market it didn’t even register in the Nielsen ratings. We call ratings that bad, “hash marks.”
We figured because so few people were watching Olbermann, why would our viewers care about the latest chapter in his career? We wouldn’t use time on Eyewitness News to report the cancellation of “Clifford, the big red dog,” or tell you if “My name is Earl,” was no longer being syndicated, and those two programs attracted far more viewers in Connecticut than “Countdown.”
Media journalists reported Olbermann’s firing, as they should have. Funny thing is, two of the best of these reporters, Brian Stelter of the New York Times, and Howard Kurtz of CNN, have more twitter followers than Olbermann had viewers.
Personally, I expected Olbermann to get more viewers in our very blue state than he did. After all, he used to live here and I and others tend to root for former Nutmeggers when they move on. Then again, Olbermann never had good things to say about Connecticut after he left.