Keith Olbermann Brings Back ‘Countdown’ In New iHeart Podcast.


The countdown is coming back.


ESPN commentator and former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will revive the “Countdown” show he hosted for the cable news network next month, only this time it will be a podcast. Olbermann has inked a deal with iHeartMedia to host a news-driven daily series that will mix sports and political commentary.


“I’m bringing it back,” says Olbermann on a preview of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which is set to debut Aug. 1. The podcast will publish each morning and will run about 35 minutes in length. Olbermann said the series will include “all the elements that made ‘Countdown’ the top-rated show in cable news, especially pointed political commentary beholden to only one special interest group – facts.”


Olbermann declined to comment on the terms of his deal with iHeartMedia, including how long his contract with the company runs. He did tell the Wall Street Journal that the budget for the show is “extremely huge.”


Olbermann may be best known for his work on television, but his media career began on radio. He worked at UPI and the RKO Radio Network. He also worked as a sportscaster at the former news/talk WNEW New York (1130) during the 1980s. Olbermann then moved into local television sports in Boston and Los Angeles before joining ESPN in 1992 as one of the hosts of its flagship “SportsCenter.” In 2003 he crossed over to news programming with the launch of his “Countdown” show on MSNBC. The left-leaning show became the cable network’s most-watched until 2011 when he left in a dispute with MSNBC management. In the years since, Olbermann has worked with the now-closed Current TV and FOKNewsChannel.


With a past that includes work in both sports and political commentary, Olbermann told the Journal his podcast will be tough to classify. He also believes hosting a daily show is important.


“This has replaced radio and to a large part television,” he said. “Why not present something that is there every day for people? My goal is that you’ll be able to listen to this thing and get everything that happened. It won’t be, ‘here we are reacting to last week’s news’.”


The paper says the Countdown podcast will revive some of the features Olbermann made popular on his MSNBC show, such as his trademark “Special Comment” political analysis, the daily “Worst Person in the World” feature, and weekly readings from the works of the immortal James Thurber.

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