Olbermann's change of attitude

Keith Olbermann, the acerbic ESPN “Sportcenter” anchor who tonight returns from a company-mandated, paid two-week leave of absence, is evidently feeling better about things than he did when last on the air April 27.

The two-week unplanned vacation resulted from ESPN’s irritation with Olbermann and what the sports network felt was his insubordinate behavior of late — including an appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” without first seeking permission.

Olbermann, the former KTLA and KCBS sports anchor, has likewise seen progress in his own contract renegotiations that would seem to make his continued employment with ESPN suddenly more likely.

“I am more optimistic about the entire situation than I was two weeks ago,” Olbermann said by phone on Monday. He added that the improved circumstances have been “very cathartic.”

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