Keith Olbermann Might Return To ESPN: Anchor Reportedly In Talks To Host Late Night Show
July 13, 2013 8:47 AM EST
Keith Olbermann might be returning to his roots. The controversial television personality is in talks to host a New York-based late-night talk show on ESPN2, 16 years after his acrimonious departure from the sports network, according to the New York Daily News.
The move comes at a tenuous time for ESPN. As the Daily News noted, ESPN is looking for ways to counter the anticipated big splash to be made by Fox with the launch next month of its new sports network, Fox Sports 1. Additionally, Deadspin reported that ESPN’s second-quarter ratings were down 32 percent compared with last year.
Before his divisive stints as a political commentator on both MSNBC and the soon-to-be-defunct Current TV, Olbermann was best known to television audiences as the co-host of ESPN’s flagship program, “SportsCenter,” alongside Dan Patrick. The duo were highly visible personalities, coining the phrase “This -- Is ‘SportsCenter’” and defining an era at the network. Olbermann co-hosted “SportsCenter” from 1992 until his departure in 1997.
As Complex noted, Olbermann made his fair share of enemies at ESPN. In an excerpt from the book “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” anchor Rece Davis explained the general feeling about Olbermann shortly after he left: “There was a rumor a few years ago that maybe Keith would come back, and one of our coordinating producers said, ‘I think it would be a good idea but with one caveat. He first has to stand in the reception area, and everybody who wants to gets to come up and punch him in the stomach.’”
However, it appears as though relations may be thawing. “I wasn’t here when Keith was here, but he is very talented,” ESPN President John Skipper told the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
If the rumors about a return to ESPN turn out to be true, Olbermann will be very busy. As the Hollywood Reporter pointed out, Olbermann recently inked a deal to anchor TBS’ studio coverage of Major League Baseball postseason competition in October. “It’s well known that Keith is a fan of the game, and when you combine that with his studio experience, keen insight and passion for baseball and its history, he’ll add a new dimension to our MLB postseason studio shows,” David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting, said in a statement.
Olbermann has yet to comment on a potential return to ESPN.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
- Miranda Kerr Broke Her Silence: Not Pregnant With James Packard’s Baby [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Trading Jeremy Lin Was A Huge Mistake For Houston Rockets
- Roger Federer Dedicates 80th Career Title For His Kids
- Arsenal FC: Wenger Satisfied Despite Coming Out with a Draw against Besiktas
- Manny Pacquiao To Gauge KO Power Against Chris Algieri
- Arsenal FC Transfer News: Mehdi Benatia and Alex Song in the Mix as Wenger Looks to 'Strengthen Defensive Department'
- 4.7-Inch, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Models Confirmed with Similar Build, Cam Features & 300+ Screen Pixels on Release Date
- Saudi Arabia: Brothers Beheaded For Smuggling Marijuana Into The Kingdom
- ISIS: More Journalists Beheading To Come After James Foley and Steven Sotloff [Video]
- Moto X+1 is Likely Nexus 6 Template; Motorola Shamu is 1st Android Silver with Snapdragon 810 – Reports
- James Foley’s Executioner Has British Accent—A Chilling Reminder That ISIS Has Foreign Members
- James Foley: More Chilling Information Revealed By Escaped Journalists
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs iPhone 6: Why Forecasts Favor Mi4 as The Next Best Phone Against iPhone 6