The NY Times reports ESPN is expected to announce 7/17 that Keith Olbermann, who contentiously departed in 1997, will return to host a one-hour, nightly show for ESPN2 later this year. Olbermann co-anchored ESPN’s “SportsCenter” with Dan Patrick and left the show briefly to help launch ESPN2 in October 1993.
Within ESPN, there was concern about asking Olbermann back because he left the network under emotionally charged circumstances in 1996 and because it was feared by some that Olbermann had become too politicized as the host of MSNBC’s “Countdown,” which aired from 2003 through January 2011.
On his new show, Olbermann will be free to discuss matters other than sports, including pop culture and current events, but not politics, the two-year pact specifies.
The move to bring Olbermann back after a 16-year absence was the result of 14 months of intense discussion within ESPN and its parent Disney, said the story.
ESPN executives said Olbermann will help it face the challenge presented by the launch of Fox Sports 1, that just announced plans for a potentially similar series to star Regis Philbin.
See the NY Times story here.