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Key links:
Primary website:
current.com
Primary Twitter:
@current

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

Current is a youth-oriented cable television network and website co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore.

The network airs original news and entertainment programming with a heavy emphasis on viewer participation, including Vanguard, a documentary series produced by young journalists. It was described as “MTV without the music” at its launch in August 2005.

Current’s distribution has grown to include cable and satellite providers that reach 60 million American households, as well as providers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy.

Until a format change in 2009, Current aired short features called “pods,” many of them created by viewers and voted up by users of current.com. After Gore and co-founder Joel Hyatt reportedly tried and failed to sell the company, Current underwent an overhaul, laying off 80 staff members, canceling some programs, and introducing traditional 30- to 60-minute time slots.

In April 2011, after severing his contract with MSNBC, Keith Olbermann announced he would take his news and opinion program, Countdown, to Current TV. Olbermann was named the network’s chief news officer. He was fired in March 2012.

Cable giant Comcast Corp., which owns MSNBC, also owns a 10 percent stake of Current’s parent company, Current Media.

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Primary author: Andrew Phelps. Main text last updated: July 18, 2013.
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