Olbermann says he's all about sports now
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Keith Olbermann isn't planning to talk politics on his new late-night sports show, although he will make an exception for a certain New York mayoral candidate.
Asked about Anthony Weiner's new sexting scandal and the candidate's online alias "Carlos Danger," Olbermann joked that Weiner "stole a great fake hotel sign-in name" that he would have liked to use.
He told the Television Critics Association summer meeting on Wednesday, "I guarantee you Carlos Danger will wind up in the first show."
He added, "The idea that anyone could call themselves, under any circumstances and for any reason, Carlos Danger is a tribute to something about him."
Olbermann's self-titled show originates from Times Square studios in New York and debuts on Aug. 26 on ESPN2. Airing at 11 p.m. EDT, it will focus on the day's sports topics through a mix of commentary, interviews, contributors, panel discussions and highlights.
Olbermann said there is no content clause in his contract that would prevent him from talking politics, something he did for eight years as a prime-time host on MSNBC and for a year on Current TV — two stints that ended poorly. He quit MSNBC and was taken off the air at Current TV and later sued.
"It's been wonderful not talking politics," he said. "It was a lot of work and it took a lot out of me."
Olbermann had his first rehearsal on Wednesday. The job brings him back to ESPN, where he worked from 1992-97 with some controversy.
"It will be a sportscast with my stamp on it," he said, adding that plans include a segment on the Worst Person in the Sports World and clips from his previous life on ESPN.
"It's important to acknowledge I was there before," he said, but at same time, "I don't think the audience is that interested in hearing me say, 'Good evening, I'm sorry, and proceeding like that.'"
Olbermann noted that one of the people instrumental in bringing him back was ESPN executive Norby Williamson, a producer on his old "Sports Center" telecasts with whom he had "screaming matches."
"I'm listening, oh, just a little bit more than I used to to other people's ideas," Olbermann said.