Gavin Newsom will soon become the first sitting politician to host a show on San Francisco-based Current TV.
The television and online network announced the new show Wednesday, just weeks after the high-profile firing of Keith Olbermann, who had worked for the company for less than a year.
The lieutenant governor and former San Francisco mayor will host an hour-long show called “The Gavin Newsom Show,” Current TV said in a release.
Newsom’s new show was touted in a written statement by former Vice President and Current TV co-founder Al Gore, who has also been a political backer of Newsom.
“Gavin Newsom is a courageous leader who has boldly seized every opportunity to crease positive social change,” Gore said. “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.”
Gore’s attachment with Newsom stretches back to 2003, when he stumped in San Francisco for Newsom in the mayoral runoff election with Green Party candidate Matt Gonzalez.
The new Newsom show, which will begin in May, will feature the lieutenant governor interviewing notable people in the state from “Silicon Valley, Hollywood and beyond.” The show will have a decidedly California feel, a spokesperson for Current TV told The San Francisco Examiner in a phone interview. The interest, the spokesperson said, will be in hearing about what and what topics are important to Newsom.
A spokesman for the lieutenant governor’s office said in a phone interview that the show will be for Newsom to promote California, which Newsom has been doing since talking office in January 2011. The show, his office said, will be separate from his political office, and no state funds will be used for the show.
The hiring of Newsom is the second high-profile change Current TV has made since firing Olbermann on March 29. Eliot Spitzer, the former governor and attorney general of New York State, was hired by the network to replace Olbermann. His show, “Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer,” debuted on March 30, according to Current TV.
It is the first time that Current TV has given a show to a sitting politician, according to a spokesperson for the network. Spitzer is a former politician, and the network also films a show out of San Francisco with Jennifer Granholm, who served as a two-term governor of Michigan.
Newsom will be paid for his show on Current TV, though a spokesman for the lieutenant governor’s office said all of the income Newsom earns for the show will be donated to a yet-to-be determined charity. Newsom will also have to document all of the income in his yearly filing with the state, according to his office.
An exact timeslot and launch date for Newsom’s show has not been decided, according to a Current TV spokesperson.
It is not the first time that Newsom is taking to the airwaves with his own show. During his time as San Francisco mayor, Newsom hosted a talk show on San Francisco-based KNEW 960AM. That show, which was a half-hour on Saturdays, was billed as featuring local interviews “with local personalities, newsmakers, and cultural icons,” according to a post on the stations website.
The radio show in San Francisco was also used to make major announcements. In December 2008, then police Chief Heather Fong made the announcement about her upcoming retirement on Newsom’s radio show.
Newsom was first took office as San Francisco mayor in 2004 after serving on the Board of Supervisors. He was re-elected as mayor in 2007 before winning the statewide seat of lieutenant governor in 2010.