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Suzy Kolber and Keith Olbermann

Suzy Kolber & Keith Olbermann: His Mouth, Back in Action

Few news personalities make news so often for the things they say and do off air as Keith Olbermann. The most fired anchor in news, is at it again. Shortly after returning to his stomping grounds at ESPN, Olbermann has been making waves regarding some comments in his book, Those Guys Have All the Fun, about former coworker Suzy Kolber, who is a prime personality on ESPN. Strangely, his most recent comments lack his usual acidic bite, and actually show a spirit of reconciliation. Sort of.


The story, such as it is, is that Kolber took more than a little heat from Olbermann during their original tenure at ESPN. Between 1992 and 1997, Olbermann was a spotlight anchor for ESPN, but fell into discord with the network, as he has with other networks since. While at the network, he reportedly gave anchor Suzy Kolber quite a hard time, though he claims to be unaware of it. Shortly before he left the network, a colleague implored him to patch things up with Kolber. The detailed account of this side of the story appears in his new book, along with some harsh truths about how Kolber was perceived at the network by other coworkers. Olbermann more or less says that Kolber received no respect from fellow journalists and anchors and that she was just as hated by ESPN staff as he was.

The Prodigal Son Returns
All this plays backdrop to Olbermann's unlikely return to ESPN. He is now hosting show Monday through Friday titled “Olbermann” on ESPN2 where the host promises to “not talk too much” about sports, but rather to do what he does best: rant. That's right. Viewers, once again, have the opportunity to hear Olbermann spew his judgments about all manner of evil and good in the world every week night. For instance, on the September 9, 2013 edition of the show, Olbermann spent nearly ten minutes lambasting the Russian government for their prohibition of homosexuality in the months leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Will He Show Up?

Olbermann was fired from his most current gig at Current TV for not showing up. Too many unexcused absences lead to his dismissal from the fledgling network. Whether he will appear before the camera as scheduled for ESPN2 remains to be seen.

Suzy Kolber and ESPN

There aren't many people who want to be hot news items just because Keith Olbermann mentioned them. That's precisely what happened to Suzy Kolber, though. Kolber originally joined ESPN in 1993, where she was one of the original anchors for ESPN2, alongside co-anchor Olbermann. She only lasted for three years during her first stint with the network, after which she joined Fox Sports, only to return to ESPN in 1999. On both networks, she made a less than favorable impression on staff - according to Keith Olbermann, at least.

Olbermann Speaks

In his latest book, Those Guys Have All the Fun, Olbermann details the sentiment toward Kolber by staff at ESPN and Fox Sports, likening it to the social standing he had in both locations. According to Olbermann, he learned that he himself had a negative effect on Kolber, though he was completely unaware, not difficult to imagine for Olbermann. He was asked to make peace with Kolber by a fellow employee, and made an attempt to do so. Kolber has mentioned over the years how working with Olbermann was a stressful experience and that he might have made her cry, though she shies away from specific details. This news item has gained attention not so much for any shred of information as for the fact that it involves Olbermann, a notorious personality in cable news, who has recently signed back on with ESPN 2, after almost two decades of hiring and firing by other networks.

Kolber's Experience

This story is perfectly timed to coincide with the start of the NFL season and the launch of Olbermann's new show on ESPN2. Kolber could use the attention, though she will clearly have plenty of it as she reports on the NFL season from the sidelines of many NFL games. Kolber is most recognized as a sideline reporter for NFL Monday Night and for increasing the legitimacy and recognition of that role in the industry. She was also the host of NFL32, a year-round show that discussed football matters in a round-table format. She's an award-winning journalist for her contributions to sports reporting and is frequently pointed to as a paragon of what the on-field reporter does to add value to a sportscast. Kolber has yet to make a public rebuttal to Olbermann's comments, and is unlikely to.

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