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Current Adds to Its Roster

9/02/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV has hired a director of research as well as some new on-air talent, including the cofounder of the Lyricist Lounge, officials said last week.

Brian Fiori, a veteran of UPN and stations such as KRON-TV in San Francisco, will serve as youth-oriented Current’s vice president of research. Fiori was UPN’s vice president of research from 1994 to 1997 and was part of the team that engineered the broadcast network’s launch.

Current, which targets 18-to-34-year-olds, has also recruited Anthony Marshall as creative director for viewer-contributed content marketing and programming, as well as program host. Marshall is a co-creator of the Lyricist Lounge, which began as five MCs hanging out in a New York rehearsal hall and turned into a showcase for underground talent such as Eminem, 50 Cent, Sean “Diddy” Combs and The Black Eyed Peas.

Marshall also developed The Lyricist Lounge Show for MTV: Music Television, where it garnered strong ratings.

Lastly, Current hired Christof Putzel as an on-air reporter and producer. Putzel’s work has been featured on Cable News Network, PBS and Sundance Channel.

San Francisco-based Current, acquired by Gore and his partners when it was known as Newsworld International, relaunched under its new moniker and format Aug. 1. It is now in 20 million homes, with distribution through Time Warner Cable, Comcast Corp. and DirecTV Inc.

A good portion of Current’s programming is actually being created by its audience, and is referred to as “VC2,” or viewer-contributed content. That’s an area in which Marshall will be involved.

September