People & Personalities: Which Version Of Keith Olbermann Will Show Up On ESPN?
USA TODAY's Rem Rieder examines Keith Olbermann's return to ESPN and writes Olbermann is "simply one of the most riveting figures on television, albeit not always in a good way." Rieder: "He is preternaturally smart, and erudite. He has a gift for TV. He's funny. He has strong opinions, and he's not afraid to express them." When he is "on his game, he's formidable. Which is why ESPN is putting him back in the lineup." Rieder: "Which Keith will show up, the good Keith or the bad Keith? I'm betting good. I'm sure that after nearly a year and a half on the sidelines, he's eager to get back in the game. And the return to sports may be a tonic for the baseball-loving broadcaster" (USA TODAY, 8/16).
KOSAR SPEAKS: Browns preseason TV analyst Bernie Kosar during Thursday's Browns-Lions game addressed the controversy over comments he made last week and said, "I love the game so much, there's no way I'd want to disrespect or hurt, or make fun of, any players or coaches." Kosar: "That being said, the way I look at the game and the way I like to analyze it from a football perspective, it is what it is. And again, I don't want to disrespect and hurt any of the players and coaches in the league. I do like the way I look at the game and I have strong feelings about the way the game's played" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/16).
SLATEN NOT OUT FOR LONG: Former WGNU-AM host Kevin Slaten, who was fired last week amid on-air allegations that Angels 1B Albert Pujols used PEDs, said that he is "about to return to broadcasting via an internet operation." He hopes Jack Clark, who also was fired for the comments, "comes along." In St. Louis, Dan Caesar reports Slaten will host an afternoon show beginning Monday on TalkSTL.com. He said that the "plan is for him and Clark to be together for a couple weeks, then for each to have individual programs." Clark on Thursday said that he "hasn’t finalized a deal and needs to confer with his attorney." Slaten "vows he's done with conventional St. Louis radio" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/16).
POOR COMPARISON? In Las Vegas, Adam Hill wrote ESPN's Bob Ley "might have gone over the top" in comparing the U.S. men's national soccer team's 2-0 halftime deficit to Bosnia & Herzegovina on Wednesday to Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination in 1914. Hill: "Relax. ... The U.S. merely was trailing in a exhibition match against a strong European side. A loss wouldn’t set off an international incident" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/16).
NOTES: Thursday marked Red Wings play-by-play announcer Ken Kal's "baseball broadcast debut," as he called the Royals-Tigers game. Regular Tigers announcer Dan Dickerson was "given the day off to take his daughter to college" (DETROIT NEWS, 8/16). A source said that former NFLer Jake Plummer has been "hired by Pac-12 Networks as a studio analyst." Meanwhile, former NFLer Adam Archuleta has "left the Pac-12 Network to take a new role as game analyst" on CBSSN. He will work Mountain West Conference and Conference USA games (AZCENTRAL.com, 8/15). Former NFLer Kenny Moore will "be the color commentator" for the Univ. of North Carolina-Charlotte's six home games on WCCB-CW this season. Moore will join announcer Ryan Rose and sideline reporter Brandon Davidow (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 8/16).