Keith Olbermann Returning to 'SportsCenter'

On His Mea Culpas
Miller Mobley

Olbermann famously burned bridges at ESPN, but embarked on apology tour of sorts in the years before his return. Among his big regrets is clashing with sportscaster Suzy Kolber, whose pieces he used to attack on air and whom he once made cry.

"I mean, you don't want to provoke anybody to tears but especially a female colleague in what was not a female-conducive environment at that point. It was 10-to-1 men on the [Bristol] campus," he says. And when he saw her at the Super Bowl in '09, "we went running at each other with a big hug."

Keith Olbermann is coming back to SportsCenter — well, sort of.

The host is set to anchor future segments of the show where he rose to stardom as co-anchor.

ESPN announced that Olbermann will be moving to a new 5 p.m. ET time slot, beginning on Monday, Sept. 8. Olbermann noted the shift from 11 p.m. on the one-year anniversary of the program, adding, "And by the way, on top of everything else, the new lineup will permit to, now and then, do an occasional edition of — what's the name of that show? — SportsCenter!"

Olbermann returned to ESPN in 2013 with a two-year deal to come back to the home where he built his name as co-anchor of SportsCenter. His tenure at ESPN ended less than amicably in 1997, and in the years that followed, Olbermann took a lengthy detour into political commentary on MSNBC and briefly on Current. He maintained a presence among the baseball faithful via his Twitter feed as well as blog posts and an appearance on MLB Network’s Hot Stove.

"Keith has had a fantastic return to ESPN, and we’re proud of the quality content featured in the first year of Olbermann, immediately garnering the program its first Emmy nomination," said Norby Williamson, executive vice president program scheduling & development. "We feel that strategically shifting the time of this show will not only provide access to a broader audience, but gives us greater flexibility for Keith to do cross-platform opportunities, including hosting key editions of SportsCenter surrounding major news or events throughout the year, while enabling us to secure a more consistent time slot to showcase his distinctive voice."

"As I like to say on the air, I’ve done all the damage I can do here in late night,” said Olbermann in a statement on the move. "I’m very proud that we’ve accomplished what John Skipper asked me to do more than a year ago: We’ve established a franchise, thwarted what we thought might have developed into an external challenge and made the world safe for even more and even newer dumb catchphrases. Onwards and upwards to 5:00 PM. Excelsior!"

Olbermann will continue to be produced live from ABC’s Times Square studios in New York City, and will be followed by Outside the Lines, hosted by Bob Ley.

Watch the announcement below:

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