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The Gavin Newsom Show: California Lieutenant Governor Scores Current TV Gig

The Gavin Newsom Show

First Posted: 04/18/2012 3:05 pm Updated: 04/18/2012 8:15 pm

It's no secret that California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom been more than a little restless in the role of California's number two executive.

Despite a high-profile focus on promoting job growth in the state, taking a strong stand against UC tuition hikes and calling out government officials who spend their free time killing mountain lions, the ever-ambitious Newsom has seemed stifled by the relatively limited powers and profile of his office.

Now, in addition to his role as Lt. Governor, it looks like Gavin is getting a new gig--TV host.

Upstart cable network Current TV announced this week that Newsom will be hosting an eponymous political talk show on the channel beginning this May.

The former San Francisco mayor plans on keeping his job as Lt. Governor while simultaneously hosting a weekly show, which will feature interviews between Newsom and leaders in tech, media and government.

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsom's sister and business partner in the PlumpJack restaurant and wine empire, Hillary Newsom Callan, said, "I've never seen him busier [than he is now as lieutenant governor]."

"Gavin Newsom is a courageous leader who has boldly seized every opportunity to create positive social change," Current TV co-founder Al Gore said in a statement. "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.”

The New York Times reported:

A Current spokeswoman said Mr. Newsom would be paid by the channel, but would not specify his salary. A representative for Mr. Newsom said that the payments would be donated to charity and would be disclosed in accordance with state law.

Newsom's relationship with California Governor Jerry Brown, to whom he lost a bruising primary battle, has reportedly been a bit touch-and-go. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board, Brown said there's a rivalry built into their positions. "I think we get along ok, you have to understand...there's just an inherent tension, it's like between the the Legislature and the governor. Eventually the relationship breaks down, that’s just the way it is," said Brown. "There's a certain tension between those who have a future and those who are trying to prolong their past. And so that tension will always continue."

Newsom agreed to an extent and has called for the reformation of his own position--advocating for the Governor and Lt. Governor to be elected on a single ticket.

That said, Lt. Governor has historically been the single best stepping-stone into the Governor's chair. Since 1851, nine California Lt. Governors have subsequently been elected to the state's top office--far more than any other statewide elected position.

Current's effort to redefine itself recently suffered a major setback when the network unceremoniously canned its highest-profile personality, left-wing firebrand Keith Olbermann. Olbermann is suing Current for wrongful termination and the network has responded by filing a counter-suit of its own.

Current has replaced Olbermann with a show hosted by ex-New York Governor Elliot Spitzer and another featuring former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

"The Gavin Newsom Show" will be the network's first show starring a sitting politician.

Gavin isn't the fist member of the extended Newsom clan to get his or her own show; Newsom's ex-wife Kimberly Guilfoyle is the host of the Fox News show "The Five". Nor is this Gavin's first foray into the media biz, he previously hosted a radio show on the Bay Area's Green 960 liberal talk radio station.

Check out this video of Newsom talking about San Francisco's green movement on (where else?) Current TV:

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