July 17, 2013

After Sixteen Years Away, Keith Olbermann ’79 to Return to ESPN

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Sixteen years after sports commentator Keith Olbermann ’79 left ESPN under “emotionally charged circumstances,” the broadcast journalist is returning to host a late-night show on the cable network.

ESPN announced Wednesday that Olbermann, 54, will be filling weeknight slots with a new show, “Olbermann.” He’ll be talking on air about everything except one topic: politics.

The ban on political talk might have come out of Olbermann’s time at MSNBC, where Olbermann was previously suspended for two days in 2010 for giving money to political campaigns. He was altogether dismissed in 2011 because of, in MSNBC’s words, “a relationship that’s been failing for a long time.”

Other rough patches have dotted Olbermann’s career, which has included stints at CNN, Fox, NBC and MSNBC. In 2009, Olbermann and conservative commentator Ann Coulter ’84 got into a widely publicized spat over Olbermann’s status as a graduate of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Later, in 2012, Olbermann was fired by Current TV — a channel founded by former Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt — because of a lack of “respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty.”

While at Cornell, Olbermann worked as the sports director of WVBR-FM, a student-run radio station. In January, Olbermann donated an unspecified amount of money to WVBR, a gift that will allow the organization to move their headquarters to a larger space in Collegetown.

WVBR’s new building will be called Olbermann-Corneliess Studios, named for Olbermann’s father Theodore and former WVBR program director Glenn Corneliess ’79, a friend of Olbermann’s who died in 1996.

Original Author: Caroline Flax