Keith Theodore Olbermann ( /ˈoʊlbərmən/; born January 27, 1959) is an American political commentator and writer. He is the host of Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Current TV, an hour-long nightly commentary program, and the Chief News Officer of the Current TV network. A former sportscaster and news anchor, Olbermann hosted Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC for almost eight years before moving the show to Current TV. The new show will begin airing June 20, 2011.
Olbermann spent the first twenty years of his career in sports journalism. He was a sports correspondent for CNN and for local TV and radio stations in the 1980s, winning the Best Sportscaster award from the California Associated Press three times. He later co-hosted ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997. After leaving ESPN amid controversy, Olbermann became a sports anchor and producer for Fox Sports Net from 1998 to 2001, during which time he hosted Fox's studio coverage of baseball.
After leaving Fox, Olbermann re-joined MSNBC after a hiatus, hosting Countdown with Keith Olbermann from 2003 until 2011. Olbermann established a niche in cable news commentary, gaining note for his pointed criticism of major politicians and public figures, directed particularly at the political right. He feuded with rival Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly and strongly criticized the George W. Bush administration and John McCain's unsuccessful 2008 Presidential candidacy. Although he has said on at least one occasion "I'm not a liberal; I'm an American", many describe Olbermann as a liberal.