While detailing his history with new MSNBC primetime host Alex Wagner Tuesday, Keith Olbermann laid into MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough with some of the harshest criticisms imaginable on his Countdown with Keith Olbermann podcast.
“The entire morning of MSNBC’s programming features — and is ruled with an iron fist by — one of the worst human beings I have ever met,” said Olbermann. “The man who, in every day in 2015 and the start of 2016, tried to mainstream Donald Trump to the MSNBC audience and only stopped when he realized Trump was not going to offer him the Vice Presidency, ‘Joey Scars’ himself, Joe Scarborough.”
Olbermann’s sentiment came after he detailed his desire for Alex Wagner, whose new MSNBC show Alex Wagner Tonight debuts this evening, to be a guest host on his MSNBC version of Countdown during the late 2000s, but in his eyes, her lack of work ethic doomed her candidacy.
“I, along with the last executive producer of MSNBC version of Countdown, Richard Stockwell, all saw Alex Wagner from Politics Daily with The Huffington Post on, I’m pretty sure, Hardball with Chris Matthews. As we TV fatheads say, she popped. Jumped right off the screen. In many ways, not unlike Maddow did, before and after all the MSNBC geniuses who claimed credit for her success now fired her in 2006. Alex Wagner was well spoken, intelligent, informed, and vivacious, and you can teach any of those things but you cannot teach all of them to the same person.”
Olbermann then noted there was just one problem with Wagner. Just like Rachel Maddow, Wagner struggled to read the teleprompter. But unlike Maddow, Wagner, according to Olbermann, wasn’t willing to put in the work to fix the issue.
“When Stockwell and I lit upon the idea that Alex Wagner might be the next great guest host of Countdown and maybe someday, like the others (Maddow and O’Donnell) host her own MSNBC show spun off from ours, we invited her up for an audition and a meet-and-greet. Stockwell handled the audition and he came back to me that night crestfallen. It wasn’t only that Alex Wagner could not read the teleprompter, Stockwell told her ‘I told her we can teach her the teleprompter. She could become as good as Maddow in 30 minutes but she said how hard could it be? I can pick it up. Anyway, I gotta go to a dinner party’. Now, I didn’t hear that. That’s what Stockwell told me. I doubt he had the imagination to make it up.
“We talked to our people at Countdown and other MSNBC shows who had produced her segments and the same message came back each time. ‘Nice person, very intelligent, mails it in.’ “
Olbermann then went on to point out the amount of shows and career stops Wagner has had over the last 12 years since her Countdown audition, while saying while it may not sound like it, he wishes her success in her new role.
Steve Wexler Named Interim CEO of Neuhoff Media
Wexler comes to Neuhoff Media after 35 years in radio management.
After current CEO Mike Hulvey was tabbed as the new CEO and President of the Radio Advertising Bureau, Neuhoff Media has tabbed Steve Wexler to fill his shoes.
While Hulvey doesn’t officially take over at the RAB until April, Wexler will begin his role as interim CEO at Neuhoff in January, according to RadioInk.
“I am thrilled for Mike and am honored to serve as interim CEO for this legendary company and look forward to working with the talented, committed team at Neuhoff during this transition,” said Wexler.
Wexler comes to Neuhoff Media after 35 years in radio management. Most recently, Wexler served as the Market Manager and Vice President for Good Karma Brands in Milwaukee. After his resignation, Wexler remained in a leadership role with the company, working as a “leadership coach” inside the organization.
“We thank Mike for his many contributions during his more than 30 years as part of Neuhoff Media. Under his leadership, Mike has advanced the family mission of great local radio,” Neuhoff Media Trustees Julian Hickman and Makena Neuhoff said in a joint statement. “We wish Mike all the best in his new role at the RAB and are thrilled to welcome Steve Wexler as Interim CEO.”
Erica Farber Stepping Away as RAB CEO, Mike Hulvey Named Replacement
“She’s left an indelible imprint on the industry, and we can’t thank her enough for her commitment and passion to Radio.”
After a 12-year run as President and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), Erica Farber will depart the organization next year.
Farber will step aside on April 1st, 2024, and be replaced by current Neuhoff Media CEO Mike Hulvey. Despite her exit as President and CEO, Farber will remain involved in RAB’s Rising Through the Ranks leadership development training and the National Radio Talent System, according to RadioInk.
“We thank Erica for her leadership over the past decade in helping to shape an organization that meets the needs of broadcasters today as well as for the future of the audio industry,” said Connoisseur Media Founder and CEO and RAB Board Chair Jeff Warshaw. “She’s left an indelible imprint on the industry, and we can’t thank her enough for her commitment and passion to Radio. It’s been an honor and a privilege to work with her.”
Mike Hulvey joins the RAB as President and CEO with plenty of knowledge of the organization. Previously, he served as the Chair of the Board. He has also served as the President of the International Broadcasters Idea Bank and served on the NAB Board of Directors.
“I’m honored to take on this responsibility and lead the RAB. It’s a privilege to follow an amazing leader such as Erica Farber,” said Hulvey. “I look forward to celebrating her in the coming months while we begin working with our dedicated team and board of directors in support of the mission of the RAB.”
“Mike is an excellent selection with the relevant skills and expertise to lead the RAB. He has an impressive track record in corporate management and local radio expertise,” Warshaw added. “In addition, as a past chair of the RAB he has a clear understanding of the organization and what the broadcast industry requires from RAB. He has a tremendous passion for the industry which will serve us all well.”
Elon Musk: We’ll Tell The World ‘In Great Detail’ How Advertiser Boycott Killed X
“What this advertising boycott is gonna do, it’s gonna kill the company. And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. And we’ll document it in great detail.”
After a report that various advertisers saw ad placements next to anti-Semitic content on X, a large portion have pulled their advertising from the social media platform. X owner Elon Musk had a strong message for those boycotting the company.
While speaking with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, Musk was asked about those companies taking their advertising dollars away from the company and how he views them.
“I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk said.
“You don’t want them to advertise?,” the CNBC host asked.
“No,” replied Musk. “If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f— yourself,” Musk said confidently. “Go. F—. Yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hey, Bob (Iger), if you’re in the audience. That’s how I feel. Don’t advertise.”
When Andrew Ross Sorkin followed up by asking about the economics and the business model of the company without the backing of advertisers, Musk was adamant it will cause the platform to fold.
“What this advertising boycott is gonna do, it’s gonna kill the company,” Musk said. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. And we’ll document it in great detail.”
When the CNBC anchor pushed back on the idea that advertisers would be responsible for the downfall of the company, the X owner said “Tell it to Earth. Let’s see how Earth responds to that.”
The advertising boycott comes as Musk faced charges of publishing anti-Semitic content himself. As part of a quasi-apology tour, he visited Israel and met with prominent leaders in the country. Some estimates put the boycott at costing the social media platform $75 million thus far. That comes on the heels of Elon Musk claiming the platform has experienced an advertising drop of 50% in 2023.