Beginning August 26, Keith Olbermann will host a late-night talk show on ESPN2 called “Olbermann.” The show will air at 11 p.m., while Sportscenter runs on ESPN. Olbermann will be allowed to discuss sports, current events, and pop culture, but his two-year contract explicitly forbids him from discussing politics.
In a statment, Olbermann expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to begin anew with ESPN, with which he has had poor relations since leaving over a decade ago:
I’m overwhelmed by the chance to begin anew with ESPN. I’ve been gone for 16 years and not one day in that time has passed without someone connecting me to the network. Our histories are indelibly intertwined and frankly I have long wished that I had the chance to make sure the totality of that story would be a completely positive one. I’m grateful to friends and bosses — old and new — who have permitted that opportunity to come to pass. I’m not going to waste it.
Olbermann worked for ESPN in the 90s, but left in 1997 to focus on covering national news and politics. He went on to host his own primetime show on MSNBC, where he developed a national reputation as a combative liberal pundit (one of his segments, which featured a number of NR-niks over the years, entitled ”Worst Person in the World”).
After leaving MSNBC in 2011, Olbermann took his show, Countdown, to the progressive Current TV network, which was founded and run by former vice president Al Gore. Less than a year after starting at Current, Olbermann was fired following months of fierce internal conflict (he went through eight different car services). The network has since been bought by Al Jazeera.