Apparently, there is interest on his end, according to a James Andrew Miller story in the New York Times. Olbermann recently had dinner with ESPN president John Skipper.
From Miller’s story:
“Keith Olbermann, both personally and through a couple people I know, reached out to say, ‘Gee, I would love to have dinner,’ ” Skipper said. “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. We talked sports and politics, and we had a nice chat. He is very interesting.
“Clearly he was looking to see if there was an entry point to come back.”
Olbermann declined to discuss the details of the conversation.
“I had the privilege to spend some time with John Skipper,” he said. “His vision and charm were readily apparent, and judging by his leadership, his family name was prophetic.”
Last week, Olbermann played a prominent role in the new ESPN 30 for 30 short on the Honus Wagner baseball card.
I would be in favor of seeing Olbermann anywhere. It didn’t end well for him in Bristol, but that was another century ago. Things change, and the fact that Skipper accepted dinner with him suggests that he is open to the idea.
What would he do if he returned to ESPN?
Olbermann definitely wouldn’t be coming back to anchor SportsCenter. However, I could see him having a role in which he provides commentaries and/or does essays on various topics. His presence would add an interesting element there.
To carry out that thought further, he also could have a role as a special contributor on ESPN’s NFL, MLB, and NBA programming.
The special contributor role would seem to be the most likely landing spot for Olbermann, if it happens at all.
More from Skipper.
“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 said.
“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. That said, this is not an easy place to get back into. There are not that many successful examples of people who have come back, in part because it’s like water filling a vacuum. When somebody leaves, somebody else fills their place.”