Olbermann returns … to sports
posted at 11:12 am on June 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Seeing as how I’m one of the very few to win both Keith Olbermann awards of Worst Person and Best Person in the World, I feel uniquely qualified to welcome Olby back to broadcasting. This time, he gets a significant audience rather than the Current TV and MSNBC microtargets, but not for his political views … or at least we hope:
After a messy public breakup with his last employer resulted in a $50 million lawsuit,Keith Olbermann will return to television in October as a studio host for Turner’s coverage of the Major League Baseball postseason.
The deal will have Olbermann leading TBS’ Atlanta-based studio show with Dennis Eckersley and possibly a second analyst. TBS this season has both Wild Card Playoff games, 18 of the 20 League Division Series games and exclusive rights to the National League Championship Series. Sources say the deal has an option for the 2014 postseason as well.
A dedicated New York Yankees fan with an encyclopedic knowledge of the game, Olbermann began his television career as a sports reporter for CNN in 1981, later solidifying his credentials as one of the original hosts of ESPN’s venerableSportsCenter franchise. He also previously served as studio host for MLB postseason coverage on NBC and Fox in the 1990s. So the new perch is a natural one for him, though many speculated that Olbermann’s next gig would be in sports radio, an environment that is more friendly to outsize personalities.
I don’t think it was the “outsize” part of his personality that caused Olbermann trouble, and he has a track record of the same problems during his previous sports-commentary days. With that said, though, I used to enjoy Olbermann’s acerbic take on sports before he started taking himself way too seriously at ESPN. Even though his presence on Sunday Night Football irked many because of his political commentary on MSNBC, he was actually pretty good on those NBC shows, and for the most part even pleasant.
Old dogs can learn new tricks, and it might be even easier to relearn the old tricks. I don’t watch too much baseball, so I probably won’t see much of Olbermann in his new gig, but if he can discipline himself on and off camera, this might be a good fit for both him and TBS.