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Keith Olbermann: Ex-ESPN Anchor Forced His Way out of Bristol?

Keith Olbermann wasn't received well at ESPN.

When Keith Olbermann announced that he'd be leaving ESPN, many were shocked to learn that he'd leave such a cushy post as a SportsCenter anchor.

But in James Miller and Tom Shales' new book, "Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN", Olbermann states that his job wasn't as good as it might have looked to those watching him on a regular basis.

The book, which is set to be released in its entirety on May 24 according to Dan Fogarty of Sports Grid, details the time that Olbermann spent at ESPN and doesn't leave much up to to the imagination.

Here is an interesting excerpt from Bill Wolff, a producer for ESPN:

"Chris Berman made that place. But the guy who made ESPN a household word, the guy who made ESPN mean something in the market to everyone, was Keith Olbermann. God, he was a genius. He just reinvented sportscasting by being the smartest guy who ever did it. And watching him in the mid-’90s was a pleasure. It was appointment viewing: What was Olbermann going to say that night?"

It's true that Olbermann's charismatic personality was a natural fit for the show's format, and that's exactly why it was so surprising to hear that he'd be giving up the gig.

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But it wasn't always a happy time for Keith.

Not all of his colleagues have fond memories of Olbermann's happiness at ESPN.

Howard Katz, an Executive Vice President at ESPN, recalls that the time Olbermann spent in Bristol was among his most miserable days.

"Keith is as talented as anybody I’ve ever worked with. But he was a terribly unhappy person while he was up in Bristol. First of all, he was single. He didn’t drive. What kind of social life can you possibly have? He was not a happy camper up there, and it showed. People just didn’t want to work with him anymore; he was tearing the newsroom apart. Keith had to fight management on every single point. So [in 1997] I finally came to the conclusion that despite his brilliance and talent, we would be better off without Keith. I didn’t fire Keith; I just chose not to renew his contract. Keith did not respond well—although I’m sure it didn’t come as a surprise."

Like my dad always told me, you've gotta be happy with what you do for work.

And clearly, Olbermann was not. 

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