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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

My First Big Break: Keith Olbermann

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As a kid, Keith Olbermann would daydream of being a TV broadcaster. The only question was: sports or news? After nearly 40 years in the business, Olbermann has done both, with gigs at CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, twice, and ESPN, twice. As it turns out, the guy who gave Olbermann his “First Big Break” in TV would give him another break later on.

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MSNBC Promo Describes Rachel Maddow As a ‘News Anchor’

140305_2754126_Rachel_Maddow__Ike_BarinholtzYou won’t likely see MSNBC host Rachel Maddow filling in for Brian Williams on “NBC Nightly News.” While Maddow is usually described as the “host” of a cable news show, she is rarely called a “news anchor.” Her own NBC bio describes her as a “host”–and never even uses the word “journalist.”

So it’s worth noting that a new MSNBC promo flips the script, describing Maddow as a “news anchor with a big personality. She’s smart, funny and passionate.” Conservative critics immediately jumped on the promo, noting that previous “Lean Forward” promos for MSNBC included hosts like Maddow talking about their passion for progressive issues. “Given the MSNBC host’s long track record of pushing her agenda it’s hard to imagine anyone seriously considering Rachel Maddow anything more than a liberal commentator with a cable news show,” writes Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters.

A story by NBC News on MSNBC’s “Lean Forward” promos noted that “left-leaning anchors” like Maddow and Ed Schultz have made the network “increasingly identified with a rising tide of progressive political sentiment. The new branding campaign, while not overtly political, implicitly embraces the network’s progressive identity.”

In a 2011 Glamour interview with Katie Couric, Maddow dodged the question of whether she’s a journalist or not: Read more

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Calls For NFL Commish Roger Goodell’s Job… Again

2GoodellESPN’s Keith Olbermann has attacked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on a regular basis since the league botched the handling of Ray Rice‘s domestic abuse situation. Since the NFL and ESPN are partners, and the league will do anything it can to “protect the shield,” it is awfully bold for Olbermann to take such a strong stance against the commissioner. But being bold is sort of Olbermann’s thing.

According to The New York Times, the NFL’s contract with ESPN to broadcast Monday Night Football is worth $15.2 billion dollars though 2021. With so much cash on the line, its somewhat surprising that ESPN is allowing Olbermann to bash Goodell.

In the five minute monologue, Olbermann questions a variety of Goodell’s recent actions. The lack of punishment for the Ravens asking victim Janay Rice to publicly apologize, Goodell lying about his June 16 meeting with Janay and even turning Ray Rice into a victim are a few of the reasons why KO feels the commissioner should step down.

Check out the entire monologue, after the jump.  Read more

Olbermann’s Task: ‘Destroy’ Fox Sports 1

Keith-Olbermann_article_story_mainKeith Olbermann sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch to discuss his show, its rivals and whether or not he misses delivering political news.

It’s been about 14 months since the former MSNBC host returned to ESPN which was, not coincidentally, about the same time that Fox debuted its 24/7 sports network, Fox Sports 1. The typically polarizing Olbermann explains that ESPN was looking to steal the thunder of Fox Sports 1’s launch.

Then there was the strategic usefulness relative to Fox Sports [1]. In case there was anything actually happening there, the goal was to make sure it didn’t. My task, my assignment, was to basically smother them before they hatch. Destroy the eggs!

Olbermann elaborated when asked if the eggs are destroyed, “I take no credit for it because my experience with them [Fox Sports] having done the same thing at the other end of it, being with Fox Sports Net in 1999 and 2000 and 2001, suggests to me that anything they have achieved is entirely their own doing. But there was a certain quality of strategy for ESPN, as in: ‘let’s make this move now.’ And it got as much attention as their launch did.”

Olbermann followed up with candid remarks about being supported by ESPN management, his relationship with Dan Patrick and his need to “feed the trolls” on Twitter. He even pays a compliment to George W. Bush.

Jamie Horowitz Named SVP/General Manager of ‘Today’ Show

JamieHorowitzESPN executive Jamie Horowitz is joining NBC News as SVP and GM of the “Today” show. But his ESPN contract won’t allow him to take the job until later this year.

Horowitz, who will report to NBC News president Deborah Turness, will lead the four hours of “Today” on all platforms. Executive producer Don Nash, “Weekend Today” EP Dee Dee Thomas, and Jen Brown the GM of Today.com, will report to Horowitz.

At ESPN, Horowitz is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. He has overseen the launch of Keith Olbermann‘s ESPN2 show as well as “First Take,” “Numbers Never Lie,” and “SportsNation.” Before joining ESPN in 2006, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports. He began his career as an NBC Olympics Researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

“I am honored to join Deborah’s team and help guide ‘Today’ into the future,” said Horowitz in a news release. “This is an exciting and invigorating opportunity, and I am humbled to work with one of the most indelible brands in television. I am also grateful to John Skipper and ESPN for the opportunities and support they have given me over the past eight years.”

Horowitz is another in a line of “Today” show leaders who got their start with NBC Olympics. Former EP Jim Bell, now the EP of NBC Olympics, got his start as a producer for NBC’s coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Games. Now CNN Worldwide president, one-time “Today” show EP Jeff Zucker‘s first job at NBC was as a researcher at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Deadspin first reported back in January that NBC was talking with Horowitz about the job.

See Turness’ internal note to staff, after the jump…

Read more

Keith Olbermann Won’t Be Getting In a Car With Anyone From MSNBC

ESPN anchor Keith Olbermann‘s departure from MSNBC in 2011 was certainly not warm and fuzzy, and today he compared watching his former network with a very dangerous act.

Earlier this year, Olbermann declined to comment on an MSNBC segment, claiming he hadn’t watched the channel since 2009–when he was still hosting “Countdown.”

The sports anchor returned for a second stint at ESPN last summer, hosting “Olbermann Live” on ESPN2. Before that, he was fired by Current TV, which was eventually sold to Al Jazeera.

Does MSNBC Have a Fundraising Double Standard?

ScarboroughWith “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough scheduled to deliver a keynote address at a Republican fundraiser in New Hampshire in May, MSNBC’s political fundraising policy is back in the spotlight.

Earlier this year, Ed Schultz cancelled a scheduled appearance at a Florida Democratic fundraiser. MSNBC claimed Schultz didn’t realize the event was a fundraiser, and cancelled the appearance when he did.

MSNBC has suspended top talent before for crossing the line between on-air advocacy and off-air activity; Scarborough and then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann were both suspended for donations to their respective political parties in 2010.

The event Scarborough will speak at costs $50 for general admission, and $35 for Young Republicans. The money goes straight to the Republican Party.

We’ve reached out to MSNBC for comment, but have not heard back.

Keith Olbermann Explains How His Shingles Makes Him a ‘Danger to Humanity’

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann explained his infrequent hosting as of late on Thursday’s “Olbermann,” telling his audience the effects of his shingles medicine is making him a “danger to humanity.”

“So let me tell you about shingles,” he started, explaining that the drugs he’s taking for his shingles are so strong, he didn’t feel the effects of breaking a ceramic, glass wall fixture with his head.

“I can play through the pain, I can play through the drugs, I can play through the limp,” he continued, but revealed there’s one thing he can’t play through: the drugs screwing up his sleep.

Keith Olbermann Explains ESPN Absence

Keith Olbermann was off-air last night for ESPN, and took to Twitter today to explain.

Olbermann then linked falling on the wrong side of the all-important A25-54 demo to his health woes. Read more

How ‘Network’ Predicted the Future of TV News

NetworkIf you work (or have worked) in TV news, and we know many of you do, you’ve probably seen “Network,” the 1976 classic which takes a cynical look at the news business as fictional TV network UBS exploits its anchorman for corporate profit. (If you haven’t seen it, get to Netflix, stat.)

Today Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for The New York Times, is out with a new book about the film. The book’s title, Mad as Hell: The Making of Network and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, includes the the outcry which would be immortalized in pop culture. “Network” won 4 Acadamy Awards, including one for Peter Finch who played the “Mad as Hell” anchorman and who died just weeks before the Oscars. (If you’ve seen the film, you’ll get the tragic irony).

Actor Rob Lowe, writing the New York Times Book Review calls the film “darkly funny and breathtakingly prescient” and says Itzkoff’s “engrossing, unfolding narrative contains the perfect amount of inside-baseball moviemaking stories and anecdotes about stars.”

MadAsHellItzkoffThe Wall Street Journal review covers how the film was received in the TV news world of the mid-1970s

The TV establishment was predictably infuriated. Though his daughter, an actress, had a small role in the film, Walter Cronkite issued increasingly dismissive comments, calling it “a rather amusing little entertainment.” Worse, “they cut my daughter’s part down to almost nothing.” In the midst of the storm, [screenwriter Paddy] Chayefsky wrote craven letters to Cronkite and his NBC counterpart, John Chancellor. “Please know,” he told Chancellor, “I never dreamed television people would be angry about the film”—showing that the screenwriter was either disingenuous or delusional.

USA Today calls “Mad as Hell” “absorbing and revealing,” noting that Itzkoff speaks “with some admirers who became prominent writers and TV personalities — among them Stephen Colbert, Aaron Sorkin and Keith Olbermann.” “You wish Chayefsky would come back to life long enough to write The Internet,” Sorkin says.

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