SBD/July 17, 2013/Media

Keith Olbermann Returning To ESPN As Host Of Nightly Show

Olbermann has been in talks for 14 months with ESPN about returning to the net
ESPN is expected to announce today that broadcaster Keith Olbermann "will return to host a one-hour, nightly show for ESPN2 later this year," according to sources cited by James Andrew Miller of the N.Y. TIMES. The move was the "result of 14 months of intense discussion within" ESPN and Disney. There was "concern about asking Olbermann back because he left the network under emotionally charged circumstances and because it was feared by some that Olbermann had become too politicized as the host" of MSNBC's "Countdown." The two-year contract states that Olbermann on his new show will be "free to discuss matters other than sports, including pop culture and current events, but not politics." Olbermann's "star quality is almost unmatched in the sports television arena; he seems to draw a crowd" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/17). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Marisa Guthrie noted the show will "originate from the ABC News Nightline studio overlooking Times Square." Signing a "personality with a profile like Olbermann's" gives ESPN a "marquee name to promote on its ESPN2 service at the same time that Fox is launching" FS1 (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/16). VARIETY's Jon Weisman noted a "premiere date for the Olbermann show has not been disclosed" (VARIETY.com, 7/16).
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