According to reports Keith Olbermann will return to ESPN to host a talk show. Olbermann and Dan Patrick were once among the most famous anchor pairings in sports.(Photo: Charles Sykes AP)
Keith Olbermann is coming back to ESPN.
Olbermann, one of ESPN's most noted SportsCenter anchors in his days being paired with Dan Patrick, is making his return.
Olbermann, who has been off the air since leaving Current TV a year ago, will host an hour-long show on ESPN2 starting on Aug. 26 and shown at 11 p.m. ET. The show will be titled Olbermann.
After leaving ESPN in 1997, Olbermann had news and political stints with MSNBC, Fox and Current TV.
Olbermann will be a mix of commentary, interviews, highlights and panel discussions.
Leaving many of his past jobs on less than friendly terms Olbermann says he doesn't want to have his past departure from ESPN "to be in the obituary" and pledges to "put a different ending to my relationship with ESPN. We can't go back and undue everything that happened 20 years ago but i would to do my best to correct as much of it as I can and I appreciate the fresh start."
Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture calls Olbermann "still one of the biggest names that ever came out of " ESPN and thinks his celebrity is a great boost for the network but sees the hire as double-edged.
"He strikes me as a guy who is going to do what he's going to do. And I'm not sure anything can stop it including him, himself."
But Olbermann was happy to talk about his pursuit of making amends.
"I'm as excited about that prospect as I am about the show itself and I'm pretty excited about the show," Olbermann said. " I could apologize a 1,000 times and we could get anybody whoever took offense to anything I ever did and bring them all into one place -- we probably need Yankee Stadium -- and I point to everybody and say 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry' and we could do it that way or I could do it as a mass blanket thing...but practically speaking....all that is going to make difference is how I conduct myself."
Keith Olbermann said there is no clause in his contract prohibiting him from talk politics but said he'll only include politics when it rubs about against sports. "If the house is considering a bill to make PED use a capital offense we'll cover it."
ESPN president John Skipper whose first comment was "this makes better" said "we don't ultimately have to work through anything except my having some discussions and being sensitive to some of the previous issues, having some conversations with some of those folks. It was ultimately my decision about whether the merits of Keith's singular talents and being on this show.....it is my getting some comfort with Keith. It is much more about what Keith is going to do than what people at ESPN have in their memory."
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Also, in June, Turner Sports re-arranged its baseball lineup, bringing in Olbermann as host of its postseason coverage with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley.