NEW YORK — Keith Olbermann, the provocative, unpredictable cable-TV sports commentator, has resigned as host and executive producer of a weekly hourlong Sunday-night sports-news series on Fox Sports Net.
Nearing the end of his three-year contract for about $900,000 a year, Olbermann will also relinquish his hosting chores on the weekly pre-game show leading in to the Fox Network’s “Saturday Baseball Game of the Week,” which was to begin its new season next month.
Olbermann’s career has leveled off after reaching its peak during his highly publicized reign from the early to mid-’90s as co-anchor with Dan Patrick of ESPN’s nightly “SportsCenter” program.
After regular skirmishes with the ESPN brass, Olbermann announced that he was fed up with sports, resigned and joined MSNBC as host of a free-flowing show that allowed him to sound off on politics.
Shortly after he landed at MSNBC, Monica Lewinsky became headline news, and Olbermann finally got fed up with the nightly cable drumbeat of all-Monica-all-the-time.
Fox Sports hired him in 1999 to host its nightly sports report, hoping to recapture Olbermann’s former ESPN glory. But his presence failed to ignite Fox Sports’ Nielsen ratings, and Olbermann ended up reducing his workload to one night a week.