Keith Olbermann announces departure from ESPN to return to political commentary


Keith Olbermann’s third stint at the World Wide Leader is coming to an earlier-than-expected end, but this time it was his own call and he did not go out guns blazing.

Olbermann announced in a Periscope video posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday that he is leaving ESPN to start his own political commentary show on YouTube.

“I want to thank my friends at ESPN … for releasing me a little early from my contract with the network so I can resume my political commentaries,” he said. “In the 31 years since I first went to work for ESPN … I have now left ESPN in every conceivable way possible. Only once it was truly unpleasant…this time it is truly on very, very happy terms.

“I have adhered, I hope, to their desire for their sportscasters to refrain from political commentary – which is an approach in which I largely agree with anyway. They have now agreed with my desire to serve my country the best way I know how which is focusing my energy on political commentary.”

Olbermann will instead do his own YouTube show titled, “Worst Person in the World” – a callback to a former segment he did with MSNBC – which will debut on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET on the Keith Olbermann YouTube channel.

“You didn’t really think I was going to sit out this election, did you?” Olbermann said.

The 61-year-old journalist was hired by ESPN in 2018 with a role in which he did commentaries on SportsCenter and occasional play-by-play for MLB games.

Olbermann first worked for ESPN in 1992-97, in which he rose to fame hosting SportsCenter with Dan Patrick. It was his first stint with the network that ended unceremoniously as Olbermann seemingly burned bridges on his way out.

He went into politics and hosted his own show, “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” on MSNBC from 2003-2011 before returning to sports and ESPN again from 2013-15 with his own show on ESPN2 until the network decided to move in another direction.

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