Skip to comments.EXCLUSIVE: Keith Olbermann Returning to ESPN? Ex-MSNBC Host in Talks for NY-Based Late Night Show
Posted on 07/12/2013 11:52:40 AM PDT by nickcarraway
The sports newscaster turned MSNBC political commentator first worked on ESPN from 1992-1997. Sources say the situation is still 'very fluid'.
Is Keith Olbermann headed back to ESPN?
The Daily News has learned Worldwide Leader is in serious discussions with Olbermann to host a New York-based late night talk show on ESPN 2, according to industry sources.
The sources said the situation is still very fluid and no decision on green-lighting Olbermann or the project has been made.
If the move to Olbermann is made, it could blunt the buzz Fox hopes to generate with its August launch of Fox Sports 1.
This could be the first shot in an all-sports cable TV war. The sources added ESPN is also considering unleashing a multi-million dollar SportsCenter advertising campaign/counter attack that would air around the launch of FS1.
Still, the timing of an Olbermann hire would be strange. Last month, Turner Sports hired him to host its Major League Baseball postseason studio show on TBS. It stands to reason Turner brass wouldn't be thrilled with Olbermann debuting on ESPN before making his first appearance with Turner. Keith Olbermann's late night talk show could steal buzz away from new Fox Sports project.
Keith Olbermann's late night talk show could steal buzz away from new Fox Sports project.
It also would be unusual for Turner to allow Olbermann to work for ESPN, who Turner Sports execs likely view as a competitor. Nonetheless, stranger things have happened in this business. And it's no secret Olbermann has expressed major interest in returning to ESPN where he worked from 1992-1997. Initially, ESPN suits didn't second his emotion. But last month, ESPN boss John Skipper displayed some flexibility, leaving the door open for a return by Olbermann. When asked by the Hollywood Reporter if he would bring Olbermann back, Skipper said: "I wasn't here when Keith was here, but he is very talented. So I had dinner with Keith.....And I would not have had dinner with him if we didn't sit around and think about whether there was a reason to bring Keith back. I haven't met with him again, but we don't have a policy here that you can never come back."
Especially when Fox is starting up an all-sports rival to the Worldwide Leader. Those who were around when Olbermann teamed with Dan Patrick will remember the confrontations with management, the suspension, and other assorted niceties. They also will remember Olbermann referring to ESPN's Bristol, Conn headquarters as a "God forsaken place."
There is no love-lost between the Foxies and Olbermann either. In 1998, long before he referred to Fox as "the Fix Network" on his MSNBC political show, Olbermann was the anchor of "The Keith Olbermann Evening News," a Fox Sports Net show designed to challenge SportsCenter. Olbermann, who also hosted Fox's MLB studio show, was dumped by Fox, leaving under a cloud of controversy in 2001.
Probably the only human on this planet with a bigger head than Obamas.
The guy has more lives than a cat.
Oh, come on! Won’t this douchebag just go away?
yet another reason never to turn on ESPN again.
Also one of the worst sports announcers ever. Keif is a jerk regardless of what audience he is hired to parade his ego in front of.
MSNBC and Current TV both learned the same thing the hard way. Olbermann is the WORLD’S WORST EMPLOYEE!!!
If the dullards in Bristol want to deal with that, it’s their call.
Rats swimming toward a sinking ship ?
This is a first...
Its amazing how these losers just keep getting recycled through the media establishment. Like there are no other capable people out there without the psych issues.
If they hire this jackass, I’ll never watch ESPN again. Too bad, because I like SportsCenter.
I don’t watch ESPN anyway.. NFL Network is the way to go.
Olbermann has a record of starting feuds with coworkers, throwing tantrums, and publicly criticizing his employers. Anyone who hires him deserves the consequences.
It is as dumb as hiring someone who won several lawsuits against previous employers for falling on water puddles outside the bathrooms in offices that only have carpet.....
Boycott the sponsors and let them know it.
Who the hell came up with this buzz phrase? I now hear it almost as often as that woman repetitiously screaming about being on fire.
MSNBC needs him to come back! maybe put him in charge of the station—they could do worse.
I have my doubts Olbermann will return to ESPN because there are still enough people still working at the company to remember why he was dumped by the network.