Keith Olbermann’s return to ESPN after a 16-year absence to host a weeknight late show beginning Aug. 24 became officially verified with a conference call full of media members curious as to why this would be happening all over again.
We’ll get into more of it in Friday’s weekly media column, but for those wondering how this came about, talks have been in the works for more than a year about Olbermann returning, pushed on his side to try to rectify some of the nasty terms he left on.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity,” said the former KTLA-Channel 5 and KCBS-Channel 2 sports anchor this morning. “This is a chance to put a little different ending on my relationship with ESPN.
“I appreciate the fresh start, and we’ll see how much success we can get in that way. This is not quite the Paris peace accords, but we’ve done a very good job. I’m the main beneficiary and hope to make the audience the second beneficiary.”
Added ESPN president John Skipper: “We don’t ultimately have to work through anything except my having discussions and being sensitive to some of the previous issues. …. It ultimately was my decision.”
This sports-focused show called “Olbermann” will air in the 8 p.m. PDT window, emanating from the network’s Times Square studio in New York, and, for its debut, will come on the heels of ESPN2 coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tournament.
Olbermann says that despite some premature reports, there is no clause in his contract that will prevent him from talking politics — a career path he had recently on MSNBC and on Current TV as a pundit.
Twitter is already alive with responses to the news. One from @DannyZucker, the writer and executive producer for ABC’s “Modern Family”: ESPN confirms that Keith Olbermann will return to the network and be fired 12 days later.