- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ESPN has cancelled the TV show of Keith Olbermann, opting not to renew the cantankerous host’s contract.

The network said in a statement that the show, called “Olbermann” and featured on ESPN2 will be gone when the host’s contract ends on July 31.

The statement called Mr. Olbermann, who left an earlier stint at ESPN on bad terms and became the top political host on liberal commentary-news network MSNBC, “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,” ESPN said.

Mr. Olbermann had anchored the lead “SportsCenter” program in the 1990s and was one of the earliest “stars” the then-fledgling network created.

A USA Today analyst noted that the network seems “to be moving away from high-priced talent who can be inflammatory, as this decision follows the much-talked-about move by the network to not renew the contract of former Grantland editor Bill Simmons.”

Mr. Olbermann had toned down his finger-wagging, lecture-to-the-camera style that appealed to the audience at MSNBC, but still got into trouble during his latest ESPN sports-first stint.

The network suspended him for a week earlier this year over a Twitter feud with a Penn State student who was pushing a fund-raising effort for pediatric cancer. He called the student “pitiful” over the university’s handling of, and the student body’s reaction to, the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse case.

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