Olbermann Reportedly Wants To Come Back To ESPN
BRISTOL, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) — Could we see Keith Olbermann host “Sportscenter” again?
The New York Times reports that Olbermann is interested in reuniting with ESPN, where he was previously employed from 1992-1997 before having a falling out with management.
According to the Times, Olbermann met with ESPN President John Skipper at a New York City restaurant recently.
“Keith Olbermann, both personally and through a couple people I know, reached out to say, ‘Gee, I would love to have dinner,’” Skipper said. “I agreed to dinner with Keith because I assumed he’d be provocative and witty and fun to have dinner with, and he was indeed lots of fun. We talked sports and politics, and we had a nice chat. He is very interesting.”
If Olbermann does return to Bristol, he might be entering unfriendly confines. In “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” former colleagues told authors Tom Shales and Andrew James Miller that they were not fans of Olbermann’s and that he burned many bridges while at ESPN.
Olbermann would not divulge to the Times what he spoke about with Skipper.
“I had the privilege to spend some time with John Skipper,” he said. “His vision and charm were readily apparent, and judging by his leadership, his family name was prophetic.”
Olbermann became a household name in the 90s teaming up with Dan Patrick to host “Sportscenter.” Patrick believes that the door would be open for Olbermann to return.
“You can never say never,” Patrick told the Times. “What I can say is that if he does return, I won’t be back there with him doing ‘SportsCenter,’ I can promise you that.”
After leaving ESPN in 1997, Olbermann has bounced around from Fox Sports, MSNBC and Current TV, who he filed a $70 million lawsuit against.
Despite Olbermann’s overtures, Skipper says that “there was no real appropriate place for Keith to come back” at this time.
“We don’t have a policy that says we won’t bring somebody back,” Skipper told the Times. “We’re running a great business, and when we think we can get quality content, there’s no such thing as a condemned list. That said, this is not an easy place to get back into. There are not that many successful examples of people who have come back, in part because it’s like water filling a vacuum. When somebody leaves, somebody else fills their place.”