Current TV Downsizes and Expands

Current TV, launched by former VP Al Gore in San Francisco, is a great network. It is now expanding to Canada, but at the same time it’s laying off quite a few staff persons.

Current TV, backed by Al Gore, is going through a bit of its own gore today, as it laid off about 60 of its employees. The exact count: it is eliminating 60 positions in U.S. but is adding 30 new positions, and many of those laid off will be offered new positions. The total staff count left now is 410. This comes a day after Current announced its expansion into Canada, in a tie-up with CBC. The company already has channels in the U.S., Britain, Ireland and Italy, and all of these are local JVs, hence likely unaffected in any big way
This just in: Current TV’s director of public relations sent us an email designed to be printed in its entirety. (Thanks for that. Since Valleywag fired everyone else, I spend way too much time editing.) Current didn’t just cut staff, they reshuffled a couple dozen employees. Instead of the economy, Current blames “a new, innovative programming strategy.” That’s gotta make everyone feel better. A tipster tells us, “The few spared [in San Francisco] are being made to choose between unemployment or a move to L.A.”
On the bright side, Current TV’s CEO says Let the 6 O’Clock News Die (per Wired):

Says Current CEO Joel Hyatt. “They brought it upon themselves,” Hyatt said, while speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. “There’s been no innovation in forty years. I grew up on Walter Cronkite. And the only thing that ever changed on the evening news was his tag line, ‘And that’s the way it is.’ If you asked my sons — both of them are in their 20s — to respond to the notion that somebody is going to tell you the way it is, it’s like speaking Greek . . . It’s just not the way a young generation is willing to receive its information.”