Keith Olbermann Leaving ESPN Show After Less Than Two Years

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Outspoken sportscaster Keith Olbermann is leaving ESPN after less than two years hosting his namesake talkshow “Olbermann.”

“While the show’s content was distinctive and extremely high quality, we ultimately made a business decision to move in another direction,” Walt Disney Co.’s sports network said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement. “We wish Keith nothing but the best and trust that his skill and ability will lead him to another promising endeavor.”

A one-time ESPN star, Olbermann, 56, returned to the sports network in 2013 with a show airing at 11 p.m. on the ESPN2 channel. It was later moved to an afternoon time slot to improve his ratings, according to the website TV by the Numbers. He is the second high-profile host to leave in the past two months.

Bill Simmons left ESPN in May. He was suspended last year for three weeks after calling National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar over his handling of the Ray Rice domestic abuse case.

Olbermann was a popular host on “Sports Center,” ESPN’s nightly newscast, in the 1990s. He left ESPN in 1997 after falling out with executives. After three years with Fox Sports, he landed at NBCUniversal’s MSNBC with a political show, “Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” that ran for eight years until January 2011.

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