Keith Olbermann is parting ways with ESPN once again.
The outspoken broadcaster will be leaving the sports network when his two-year contract runs out at the end of July.
“Keith is a tremendous talent who has consistently done timely, entertaining and thought-provoking work since returning to ESPN,” the network said in a statement Wednesday.
“While the show’s content was distinctive and extremely high quality, we ultimately made a business decision to move in another direction. We wish Keith nothing but the best and trust that his skill and ability will lead him to another promising endeavor.”
Olbermann joined ESPN in 1992 and became a popular “SportsCenter” anchor team with Dan Patrick. In 1997, he was suspended for two weeks after he made an unauthorized appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” with former ESPN colleague Craig Kilborn and referred to the Bristol, Connecticut, headquarters as a “‘Godforsaken place.” Olbermann left ESPN later that year and went on to cover politics for Fox News and MSNBC.
In July 2013, he returned to the network with a one-hour nightly show called “Olbermann” on ESPN2.
He quickly ruffled feathers last September for blasting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and calling for his termination or resignation in the wake of the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal. “Mr. Goodell is an enabler of men who beat women,” the host said. “His position within the National Football League is no longer tenable.”
In February, he was suspended for a week following a heated Twitter exchange with Penn State University students. The fracas started when a student tweeted the sports anchor a link to an article about the school’s fundraising efforts to fight pediatric cancer.
The tweet included the Penn State rally cry “We Are…” to which Olbermann responded “…pitiful,” which angry tweeters took as a criticism of the school’s philanthropy efforts. He went on to clarify that he felt Penn State as a whole was “pitiful,” not the fundraising efforts, and went on to slam the complaining students’ intelligence. Olbermann later apologized for his inappropriate comments.
Olbermann’s latest exit follows the abrupt departure of another high-profile talent, Bill Simmons, who severed ties with ESPN in May. Simmons was the editor-in-chief of Grantland, but the sports and pop culture site remained with ESPN and is continuing under the leadership of interim boss Chris Connelly.