Keith Olbermann Returns to ESPN Tonight: Once More, With Humility?

Keith Olbermann earlier this month in L.A. (Photo: Getty Images)

By Tim Molloy

Another year, another network for Keith Olbermann: The volatile late-night host returns Monday night to ESPN, the network that made him a star.

But this time, he says, will be different.

Olbermann left ESPN’s “SportsCenter” in a huff in 1997 after five years at the network and began a 15-year odyssey filled with less-than amicable partings. He went from MSNBC to Fox Sports, was fired, and returned to MSNBC, where he tongue-lashed Fox News personalities night after night. He soon he soured on MSNBC as well, joining Current.

Also read: Keith Olbermann Denies He’s Banned From Talking Politics at ESPN, But Doesn’t Plan To

That lasted barely a year. In an interview with David Letterman, Olbermann likened himself to a $10 million chandelier in a building that didn’t even have a lot or building permits.

But since then, he’s shown signs of humility. He’s embraced what he does best: talking baseball, both on Twitter and in an upcoming TBS postseason show. And he persuaded ESPN president John Skipper to take him back, even when Skipper didn’t want him at first.

The question is how long that humility will last.

At a panel last month about his new show, called simply “Olbermann,” he said that he had learned from all of his bad breakups.

Also read: Keith Olbermann: ‘Every One of My Jobs Has Lasted at Least One Month’

“I better have,” he said. “I’m 54 years old.”

In June, when he announced the TBS job, he joked that his resume is 37 pages long and mock-boasted that “every one of my jobs has lasted at least one month.”

The timer on his latest one begins at 11 p.m. ET.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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