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The veteran sports- and newscaster is departing the Disney-owned network to host a political show on YouTube. Olbermann said in a series of tweets Tuesday afternoon that he asked for and received an early release from his contract so he can restart his political commentaries.
“I have adhered to [ESPN’s] desire for their sportscasters to refrain from purely political commentary (an approach with which I largely agree), and they have now agreed with my desire to go and serve my country by focusing my energy on political commentary,” Olbermann wrote.
The YouTube show will be a live, daily commentary show focused on the election called The Worst Person in the World, after a segment on his old MSNBC show Countdown. He plans to launch the show on his YouTube channel at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday.
Olbermann’s latest stint at ESPN began in early 2018, when he started doing occasional commentaries on SportsCenter. Later that year he returned to the anchor desk at SportsCenter, and he has also done play by play on some of the network’s Major League Baseball telecasts.
He has been on and off ESPN several times since he began working there in the early 1990s, twice decamping to MSNBC to host shows there. His most recent political commentary was for a series on GQ.com in 2017, titled The Resistance.
See Olbermann’s tweets below.
1/6 – THE PROVERBIAL PERSONAL NEWS:
I want to thank my friends at ESPN – particularly Norby Williamson and Jimmy Pitaro – for releasing me a little early from my contract so I can resume my political commentaries (which I’ll detail in a moment).
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) October 6, 2020
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