Keith Olbermann Is Back (for The Sixth Time) At ESPN

He's back in a big way. Again.

Keith Olbermann, whose sixth tenure at ESPN began in January, will expand his existing duties, the network announced Friday in a news release in which it described the parapatetic announcer/analyst as "historically one of ESPN’s most prominent and impactful commentators."

“Keith’s smart, creative perspective on the world of sports always informs and entertains fans,” ESPN executive VP, production and managing editor Norby Williamson said in a statement. “His varied collection of ESPN appearances over the last several months has provided a great model for utilizing his distinctive voice and this new agreement will extend his contributions even further.”

Although he and Dan Patrick turned the 11 p.m. ET "SportsCenter" into a hit they dubbed "The Big Show" in the early to mid-1990s, by the time he left the network in 1997 he did so, the New York Post noted earlier this year, amid fireworks that inspired ESPN vice president Mike Soltys to say, “He didn’t burn bridges here, he napalmed them.”

The bridges apparently were rebuilt sufficiently this year for Olbermann to return in a relatively small role on "Pardon the Interruption" alongside Tony Kornheiser.

At the time, he succintly described his on again-off again-on again, etc., etc., relationship with ESPN via Twitter:

Don’t read too much into this: All of human history divides evenly into times I’m WORKING for ESPN and times I’m GOING TO BE working soon for ESPN. #Cusp

— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) January 31, 2018

Now, Olbermann's first assignment in the newly expanded role will be Memorial Day, when he will do play-by-play alongside analyst Jim Bowden for the Astros-Yankees game on ESPN Radio.

Among the other planned contributions by Olbermann: features for and occasionally anchoring "SportsCenter," select MLB studio and game assignments (including the postseason), features for and/or appearances on PTI and "Outside the Lines" and guest-host and call-in guest appearances on assorted ESPN Audio offerings.

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  • “Since we started this, my sixth separate tenure with ESPN, in January, I’ve found the variety of assignments to be most the fun and energizing of all my stints," Olbermann said. "Adding stuff like being a rookie 59-year old play-by-play guy, plus the Rip Van Winkle of 'SportsCenter,' only adds to the smorgasbord. Can’t wait, and at my age, I shouldn’t.”

    Before his current ESPN stint, Olbermann most recently worked as the host of ESPN2’s daily series "Olbermann" from 2013-15. He also has offered commentary on politics as well as sports, on MSNBC, Current TV, FOX Sports and GQ.

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