Apparently Keith Olbermann, the controversy sports and news journalist, didn’t burn all of his bridges in a career that has included stops at almost every major broadcast entity.
Variety is reporting that Olbermann will return to the ESPN family of networks on ESPN2 with a late-night talk show “imminently.”
New York Times is also confirming the report.
In some respects the move is surprising considering Olbermann left the four-letter network under questionable circumstances, according to reports, when departing SportsCenter where he and partner Dan Patrick elevated the stature of the highlight and news show which he appeared back in the 1990s.
If this indeed comes to pass, it’s a shrewd move by ESPN as they prepare to endure more competition from Fox Sports 1, the national sports network from Rupert Murdoch’s corporation.
Olbermann has the chops to carry a late-night show, not to mention the wit. But will his diverse audience follow him?
While working as a liberal advocate for MSNBC and later Current TV on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, he cultivated legions of fans on the realms of politics and public affairs. Contrast that with his admitted adoration of his first love of baseball and it’s easy to question who will tune in.
Still there’s a reason Olbermann owns nine lives in the broadcast business. Despite also leaving MSNBC and Current under acrimonious circumstances, there’s little denying that he possesses talent. He does his homework, displays intelligence and a dry, rapier with that can be punctuated with a playful smile.
Obviously, someone at ESPN2 recognizes this.