Part sportscaster, part pontificator Keith Olbermann is, once again, parting ways with ESPN, the network announced on Wednesday. Olbermann started his national broadcasting career as a SportsCenter anchor when the show was actually watchable and actually about sports and returned to the network in August 2013 after eight years at MSNBC and a brief stint at Current TV. In his second run at ESPN, he hosted a self-titled sports news and commentary show Olbermann that aired weekdays on ESPN2.
The network issued a formal, totally unenlightening, fare thee well statement:
“Keith is a tremendous talent who has consistently done timely, entertaining and thought-provoking work since returning to ESPN… While the show’s content was distinctive and extremely high quality, we ultimately made a business decision to move in another direction. We wish Keith nothing but the best and trust that his skill and ability will lead him to another promising endeavor.
Olbermann’s two-year contract was up at the end of July and the split doesn’t come as a total surprise. As Deadspin reported last week, negotiations between Olbermann and ESPN had essentially come to an impasse. Several media outlets report the major stumbling block in reupping the show was ESPN execs’ demand that Olbermann stop his on-air commentaries, something Olbermann reportedly considered a non-starter.