Former MSNBC and Current host Keith Olbermann reportedly wants to get back to work. The unemployed talking head has apparently been seeking opportunities at ESPN, where he worked from 1992 until 1997.
But much like his departures from his past two network positions, the Atlantic reports that Olbermann also left ESPN on less-than-favorable terms. Still, he’s purportedly hoping that emotions have settled and that there’s an opening for him 15 years later.
It was in the 1990s that Olbermann co-hosted ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” helping the network achieve widespread success. And after a large gap in time, some new developments do, indeed, show that relations could be warming up between the two parties.
Recently, the host appeared on “30 for 30,” a series on the network, to discuss a famed baseball card. According to The New York Times, a few months ago he also had dinner with John Skipper, ESPN’s president.
Skipper spoke candidly with the Times about their meeting.
“Keith Olbermann, both personally and through a couple people I know, reached out to say, ‘Gee, I would love to have dinner,’” Skipper told the Times. “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.”
The executive said that the two talked about “sports and politics” and that they had a nice time. He also indicated that it was clear that Olbermann was looking for a way back into ESPN. While the unemployed host declined to speak with the Times in detail about the dinner or his apparent urge to rejoin the sports network, he did say that he enjoyed his time with Skipper.
While media outlets are abuzz over whether he’ll be rehired, the ESPN executive was less-than-enthusiastic about an immediate return to the network’s airwaves.
“After the dinner, at that point, there was no real appropriate place for Keith to come back, nor did I feel like I was prepared to bring him back,” Skipper told the Times. “We don’t have a policy that says we won’t bring somebody back. We’re running a great business, and when we think we can get quality content, there’s no such thing as a condemned list.”
Olbermann’s purported urge to rejoin ESPN comes as he’s entered a legal battle with Current, the last network to hire — and fire — him. The former host wants $70 million for breach of contract, but Current, which was recently sold to Al Jazeera, claims it doesn’t owe him a cent.
(H/T: The Atlantic Wire)
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