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The 6 best parts of Keith Olbermann's 'Hollywood Reporter' Interview


The Hollywood Reporter has a lengthy interview with Keith Olbermann about his return to ESPN. The best parts...

What Olbermann did in the year after he was fired from Current in 2012: Over the next year, the 54-year-old anchor would battle Current in a bitter lawsuit that finally would end in March with a multimillion-dollar settlement in his favor. He also would attend a series of clandestine meetings at musty Connecticut restaurants with various ESPN executives; acquire a dog, a girlfriend and a raw food diet while intensifying his yoga practice (he has lost 20 pounds); and decide that what he really wanted to do was return to sports, specifically sports at ESPN.

What Olbermann's ESPN show, Olbermann, will be like: The current show's mission, for Olbermann and his producers, is to rediscover -- and have audiences reconnect with -- the erudite, mischievous and insightful sportscaster. Olbermann will mix commentary, interviews and sports highlights and also will include a revival of the "Worst Persons in the World" segment that was a staple on Countdown. There also will be a "This Day in Keith History" segment that will give Olbermann the opportunity "to make fun of his glasses, mustache and ties," explains [ESPN V.P of Original Programming and Production Jamie] Horowitz.

Who Olbermann wants on his show: There is nothing in his ESPN contract that precludes him from talking about politics. His producers already have reached out to George W. Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers. They have yet to receive a yes -- or a no. (The radio silence might be attributed to the former president's recent heart surgery.) And Olbermann also would like to have President Barack Obama as a guest. But his forays into politics only will be as it relates to sports...

What Olbermann feels about his former boss at Current Al Gore: "When you're working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod," says Olbermann, referring to Gore, "the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that's just simply the case. I don't want to dwell on it, but it's true."

How Olbermann (still) views authority: Later, when asked why he thinks he has a reputation for being a little hard on the furniture, he reasons: "I never took seriously the idea of deference [to management] just because they were my employers. It's like, 'Well, but if you have the wrong idea and I have the right one, what difference does it make where it came from?' "

What Olbermann wants to gain out of returning to ESPN, a place he left acrimoniously in 1997: "What I would like to go for is: 'Keith Olbermann, who left ESPN in a tempest in 1997 and then returned later and retired with a gold watch.' I'd like to give that a shot, having repaired most of the damage. I think that really would be great."


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