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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

Larry King To Guest-Host Keith Olbermann’s ESPN2 Show

KingOlbFormer CNN host Larry King will be able to add yet another line on his resume next month: ESPN host. King will be filling in for Keith Olbermann on his 11 PM show on ESPN 2 next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Olbermann will be covering the Major League Baseball playoffs for TBS during that time. King will be a guest on Friday’s edition of the program as well.

“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King in a statement. “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”

Other guest-hosts during Olbermann’s absence will include Jeremy Schaap and Colin Cowherd.

King is a noted sports fan, particularly of baseball, which will surely be one of the big sports stories of the day when he guest-hosts. After he left CNN, King pitched MLB Network on a new show, where he could serve as “Bob Costas West.”

Howard Kurtz’s ‘MediaBuzz’ Projects ‘Authority, Energy and Pace’

It’s been a rough year for Howard Kurtz, but you wouldn’t know it by today’s launch of “MediaBuzz” on Fox News Channel.

After his sudden departures from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, Kurtz appears to have made a seamless transition to Fox News. “MediaBuzz” projected authority, energy and pace.

Clearly, Kurtz was in his comfort zone. Most of his guests were familiar faces from his 15-year run at “Reliable Sources” – David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, media entrepreneur Lauren Ashburn.

In fact, Ashburn, a Fox News contributor, had so much face time, she served as a de facto co-host. Along with appearing in the opening two segments, she co-hosted “Digital Download,” and was on set with Kurtz for his sign-off.

Kurtz has a complicated history with Ashburn. His involvement in her new venture, Daily Download, a Daily Beast competitor, did not endear him to Brown, who later fired him. Ashburn showed up regularly on “Reliable Sources” and followed Kurtz to Fox News.

I couldn’t help but notice that Ashburn, like so many Fox News females, is blonde.

Ditto for guest Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for The Daily Beast, and Fox’s Jamie Colby, who anchored a news break during the show. The only non-blonde was the Post’s Henderson, who is African American.

“MediaBuzz” opened with a lively panel discussion on media criticism of President Obama’s handling of Syria. Kurtz used the opportunity to take a shot, albeit a mild one, at his new employer. (Since joining the network in June, Kurtz had been criticized for avoiding negative assessments of Fox.)

After MSNBC contributors Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod, both former Obama officials, were lambasted by a panelist for being mouthpieces for the President, Kurtz said it was “fair to question” whether Fox regulars Karl Rove and Rick Santorum were also “pushing an agenda.” At Fox, that passes for napalm.

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The AM Ticker: Coatney, Nigeria, Olbermann/Morgan

  • Al Jazeera America has hired Tumblr’s former media director Mark Coatney as senior VP of digital media. Coatney served as Tumblr’s liaison to media companies, and was one of its earliest employees. More after the jump.

  • A Nigerian man who pretended to be a CNN correspondent to secure money from officials seeking press coverage has been arrested. Reuters has more (via J$P).

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Keith Olbermann Gets Meta For First Edition Of New ESPN2 Show

Last night, “Olbermann” debuted just after 11 PM on ESPN2, following live coverage of the US Open. It marked a return to nightly television for Keith Olbermann, the former anchor for MSNBC, Current TV and, yes, ESPN, who had been off the air since a very public split from Current last year.

It was also a return to the Olbermann of the 90′s, with a lighthearted tone and a focus on sports. Yes, “Worst Persons in the World” was there, as was a long monologue about the New York Jets, a topic close to this writer’s heart, but it was decidedly unlike his politics and news programs.

Olbermann also got meta, playing old clips from his first run at ESPN, and talking a good deal about the state of sports journalism. No, the ESPN/”Frontline” controversy didn’t come up, but he did talk about a NY Daily News item about the Jets that he felt was drummed up in the name of controversy.

“We need somebody watching the watchers,” his first guest Jason Whitlock said. “It needs to happen to us, so we have more empathy for the celebrities that we are covering.”

“Every reporter should spend one day as the only story in the world,” Olbermann responded.

He would know.

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Keith Olbermann: Politics ‘pretty much burned out of me’

Tonight at 11 PM, Keith Olbermann returns to the nightly TV beat, with a new show on ESPN2. It also marks a return to ESPN and the world of sports for Olbermann, who has spent the better part of 10 years in the world of politics at MSNBC and Current TV.

According to James Andrew Miller in the NY Times, he doesn’t seem inclined to go back.

“No, I won’t miss politics,” he said. “My understanding of my own emotions relative to politics was really clarified in the past year. I was invited on ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos.’ I did it twice, and they invited me on many more times. We talked about doing it on a regular basis, but I found myself coming up with really bad excuses to not do it, like my dog needs my attention. I finally figured out I just didn’t like the subject matter anymore.

“If you cover politics for eight years without interruption like I did, you need a change,” he said. “After all, we retire our presidents after eight years. Why you should make anybody cover our political system beyond that is a mystery to me. It was pretty much burned out of me.”

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Izzy Povich Upped at MSNBC

Izzy Povich, who’s been with MSNBC nearly from the start in 1996, has been promoted to Vice President of Talent and Development, a new position at the network. Povich has worn many hats in her years at MSNBC, as head of central guest booking, before moving to supervising producer, senior producer and executive producer of some of the network’s biggest shows, including “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and more recently as Senior EP of “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Greg Kordick continues as EP of “Last Word.”

“As MSNBC grows, Izzy will be instrumental to the evolution of MSNBC programming,” writes network president Phil Griffin in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser. “Part of what makes MSNBC so unique is our core group of ‘originals’ who’ve been here since the beginning. Izzy knows who we are and where we are going,” Griffin writes.

Keith Olbermann: Current TV Co-Founder And Former VP Al Gore Was a ‘Clod’

Soon-to-be ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann is the subject of a lengthy profile by THR’s Marisa Guthrie. Olbermann talks about how he came to join ESPN, repairing the bridges he “napalmed” the last time he was there, and also his rather tumultuous end at Current TV.

Guthrie also reveals that ESPN was talking to NBC’s Seth Meyers about hosting a late-night show, until he inked the “Late Night” gig at NBC, and that Olbermann met with ABC News president Ben Sherwood as his time at Current neared a close.

Then there are his comments on his former boss, Vice President Al Gore. THR teases it right at the top of the story, “there is name-calling.”

“When you’re working for somebody whom you admired politically, who turns out to be a clod,” says Olbermann, referring to Gore, “the scales fall from your eyes. Sorry. Al underdelivered. I mean that’s just simply the case. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it’s true.”

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Report: MSNBC Eyes Alec Baldwin For New Show

Two and a half years ago, the idea was treated as a joke, but now it looks like it could be happening for real. Actor Alec Baldwin may be eyeing a program on MSNBC.

Mediaite’s Joe Concha says that Baldwin is set to host a primetime show Friday nights at 10 PM, in an hour that occasionally features new episodes of “The Last Word,” but is usually reserved for MSNBC’s long-form documentaries.

“We’re fans of Alec but we don’t have anything to say regarding the unconfirmed reports,” an MSNBCer says in response.

While Concha plays up Baldwin’s liberal politics, a source at an entertainment network tells TVNewser that Baldwin and his team have been out pitching a TV version of his WNYC radio show “Here’s The Thing.” In other words, if the MSNBC show does go forward, don’t be surprised if there are fewer Keith Olbermann-esque commentaries, and more long-form interviews with entertainers and policy-makers.

Baldwin, who played faux NBC executive Jack Donaghy on the sitcom “30 Rock,” was eyed by NBC as a possible late-night host earlier this year. That deal never came to fruition, but the idea certainly seems to appeal to him.

The Evening Ticker: Walters, Olbermann, Tufts

  • Barbara Walters and Brian Ross are following the story of Paul Fronczak, the man who was believed to be a baby stolen from a Chicago hospital 50 years ago, until he took a DNA test. Walters and Ross try to figure out his true background. More below.

  • Keith Olbermann will return to ESPN’s “SportsCenter” for the first time in 16 years tonight. Olbermann will deliver an “essay” (not a “special comment) on Alex Rodriguez.

  • The Weather Channel has named Scott Tufts director of content development. Tufts is a veteran of CNN, HLN and TruTV, where he most recently led its live trial coverage “In Session.”

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Keith Olbermann Reviving ‘Worst Persons’ Segment For New ESPN2 Show

While Keith Olbermann‘s new late night program on ESPN2 is decidedly not a political program, it sounds as though some of his segments from “Countdown” on MSNBC and Current TV will be making the jump with him.

Olbermann revealed that he is bringing back his “Worst Persons” segment for the program while on a panel at the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

B&C’s Andrea Morabito has details:

On Wednesday, Olbermann said he was reviving the segment again because “people seemed to like that one.” He said also the show would feature commentary, highlights, interviews, and analysis while differentiating itself from ESPN’s flagship SportsCenter.

“You’re not going to be able to bring a new component to it. Every sports program is going to be made up of a lot of the same elements and we intend to use them,” he said. “The secret to it obviously is the recipe and the mix.”

Olbermann also reiterated that he does not have any content clause in his contract prohibiting him from talking about politics, but that he is focused on doing a sports show.

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