SBD/Issue 41/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Olbermann Signs New Deal With MSNBC

Olbermann Set To
Earn $7.5M Per Year
In N.Y., Brian Stelter reports MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have reached a contract extension through the 2012 election season worth $7.5M annually, replacing the four-year, $4M per year deal signed in '07. Under the deal, Olbermann will remain on MSNBC's "Countdown" and as co-host of NBC's "Football Night in America" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/11). Meanwhile, Olbermann was on ABC's "The View" yesterday and discussed with Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the wife of former NFLer Tim Hasselbeck, a politically-tinged comment he made during a recent "FNIA" broadcast. Hasselbeck: "You snuck in there this [Sarah] Palin comment. You said this quarterback was knocked out -- out cold -- and you said he was so badly concussed that he thought he could see Russia from his house. And I thought that even in my football game, Keith, why!?” Olbermann: “I actually said would I say this if I was still just being a sportscaster, ... if I was still doing that and not doing politics, would I have made that joke? Is it enough of a cultural reference that almost the politics is subtracted from it? And I said, ‘I think so.’" However, he later admitted that was the one comment "all season which was really, I must confess, there was some restraint involved" ("The View," ABC, 11/10). 

YES MAN: On Long Island, Neil Best cites sources as saying that the YES Network will "exercise its right to match an offer from MSG" to continue simulcasting WFAN-AM's Mike Francesa's show. YES' contract to simulcast the show was set to expire at the end of '08, and while no deal has been announced, sources said that it "should happen within a few days" (NEWSDAY, 11/11).

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: ESPN's Kenny Mayne said he has had several teams tell him he could not use their personnel in his "Mayne Event" segment of ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown." Mayne: "There are three places we can’t go: Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and anywhere Bill Parcells is, even here (at ESPN). ...  My argument was I went to those teams on a Wednesday and I was with them for three minutes, five minutes, how ever long it took, and you’re telling me clowning around with me on a Wednesday impacts you on a Sunday? I think you have an organizational problem if you think screwing around with me on a Wednesday hurts you on a Sunday” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN2, 11/10).

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