UPDATE, 12:45 PM: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will anchor The War Room from San Francisco so she and her husband can continue with their temporary appointments teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. She’ll also continue to appear on Meet The Press. Granholm says her show will focus primarily on politics and public policy with a special focus on “solutions to the most pressing problems out there.” But she hopes to leven the mix by regularly featuring contributions from satirist Brett Erlich as well as viewer-generated content such as videos from the campaign trail. Granholm describes herself as being “on the left end of the spectrum” but with views that were shaped by her experience as “a pragmatic governor.” Current co-founder Al Gore says that he’ll appear from time to time on the network’s shows, including Granholm’s — and may participate in coverage of election news events. Although Granholm has no experience as a talk show host, the former vice president says he’s confident that she’ll be a fast learner: “If she had not been born in Canada, she’d be a leading candidate for president,” he says.
Here’s Current’s release:
San Francisco, CA, October 12, 2011–Current TV will launch THE WAR ROOM WITH JENNIFER GRANHOLM, hosted by the former two-term Michigan Governor. The announcement was made today by Al Gore, Chairman and co-founder, Current TV; Joel Hyatt, CEO and co- founder, Current TV; and David Bohrman, President of Current TV. Produced live in San Francisco at Current TV’s headquarters, the weeknight program is the most recent addition to the progressive news network’s primetime lineup. Granholm, an outspoken and passionate political leader, was the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the state of Michigan.
From the caucuses to the campaign trails to Capitol Hill, the hour-long 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. Granholm, a regular contributor to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” recently co-authored a new book, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future, with her husband and leadership consultant, Daniel G. Mulhern. The book explores how Michigan pioneered its way out of an economic storm—and offers proven advice for a nation desperate to create jobs. In addition, Granholm is a distinguished practitioner of law and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She will continue teaching interdisciplinary courses on energy, leadership, state budgets and the economy at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy.
THE WAR ROOM WITH JENNIFER GRANHOLM (www.current.com/thewarroom) will cap off a nightly roster of thought-provoking content beginning at 7:00 pm ET/PT with Cenk Uygur’s THE YOUNG TURKS (launching November 2011) to be followed at 8:00 pm ET/PT by COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN.
Current TV co-founder and Chairman Al Gore said: “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.”
Joel Hyatt, Current TV’s co-founder and CEO, added: “Jennifer is a proven leader in understanding and articulating the concerns of middle-income families, of working Americans, of those struggling to cope with these difficult economic times. Her authenticity, compassion and intelligence define Jennifer Granholm. We are very pleased to bring someone of Governor Granholm’s stature and experience to Current TV. We are thrilled that she will use THE WAR ROOM as a platform to frame the issues and the policy prescriptions during the election year of 2012.”
David Bohrman, President of Current TV, said: “As we rev up and get to the starting line of the 2012 election year, it was important to have someone like Governor Granholm at the helm of THE WAR ROOM. Her knowledge of the political landscape truly sets her apart from the rest of the pack. The Governor will help viewers navigate through the many topics dominating the national conversation and will bring her distinctive point of view to every issue we address. We are delighted to have her playing this important role on our team.”
Ms. Granholm said: “THE WAR ROOM will be a nightly show for political junkies like me and anyone who cares about the future of our country, focusing on the 2012 election from all angles. As a former governor, I want to take the viewers backstage to the great American drama that is democracy. The show will be dynamic, fun and informative. We will actively engage viewers with a blend of smart analysis and relevant commentary from guests on the cutting edge of politics, business and entertainment. Democrats will love it. The far right will hate it. Those in the middle will appreciate it. I can’t wait to get started.” She added: “And, it is a privilege to be part of a team of outstanding journalists, led by Keith Olbermann, along with dynamic progressives like Cenk Uygur and The Young Turks, whose integrity and commitment to excellence are unwavering.”
In addition to its emphasis on campaign updates and political headlines, THE WAR ROOM WITH JENNIFER GRANHOLM will introduce Current TV viewers to the New Faces of 2012—the up and comers who might not be immediately familiar but will most certainly be part of the changing face of politics in the year ahead.
And, tapping into Granholm’s personal passion to improve the lives of working Americans, THE WAR ROOM will put the spotlight on progressive heroes–individuals whose decisions and actions have made a positive difference, including those in the business community whose leadership has supported their employees and in turn, the U.S. economy. THE WAR ROOM will also feature regular field reports from the voters’ perspective, amplifying the voices of everyday Americans. Other regular segments include: By The Numbers: A daily analysis of polls in key contests and key states; Inside Out: A conversation with one or more of the pros that looks at the day’s events, and projects what will happen next; and Campaign InfoMania: Satirist Brett Erlich’s daily feature on the highlights and lowlights from the campaign trail.
And, in a nod to the program’s home base of San Francisco, THE WAR ROOM’s regular contributors will include some of Silicon Valley’s brightest innovators