Accuracy in Media

Keith Olbermann’s second act with ESPN may be coming to an end this month, but rumors are now circulating that the loudmouth liberal may be reunited with MSNBC, where he worked from 2003 to 2011.

keith olbermann on letterman

According to Mediaite, MSNBC has scheduled a Town Hall meeting with NBC News president Andy Lack to discuss the network’s future, and the biggest rumor surrounding the meeting centers on the potential return of Olbermann.

The reuniting of Olbermann and MSNBC may not be a crazy as it sounds. It might make sense if Olbermann could regain the ratings magic he produced during his previous tenure—and that’s a big if considering the sea change that has taken place in the last few years in cable news—and if MSNBC can convince him to hold his tongue and his tweets—an even bigger if considering Olbermann’s penchant for speaking without thinking.

If Olbermann returns, he would be doing so to a cable news network on the decline, with ratings hitting 10-year lows and some of its daytime programming falling behind, on occasion, the little watched Al Jazeera America.

It’s those low ratings, though, that make a potential Olbermann return a low-risk proposition, as he isn’t likely to generate ratings that are are lower than what MSNBC currently gets—think Ed Schultz or Chris Hayes, a couple of bottom dwellers in the ratings.

At the same time it also shows just how desperate MSNBC president Phil Griffin is to consider bringing back Olbermann after a very acrimonious split just four years ago.

Then again, it couldn’t happen to a nicer network.

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