After six tumultuous months, [Keith Olbermann] leaped back to [Dan Patrick] and "SportsCenter." The show continued to thrive, but Olbermann felt increasingly unhappy. ESPN's studios are in the small town of Bristol, Conn. Olbermann found Bristol remote, especially for someone single and unable to drive a car (a freak head injury suffered while he was running for a subway left him with poor depth perception).
With Olbermann's contract due to expire in 1997, the two sides began discussing a new deal. Olbermann says he wanted to reduce his commitment to ESPN--pairing with Patrick one night a week while branching out professionally by working for Court TV and other broadcasting companies the rest of the week. But the negotiations fell apart for several reasons, including Olbermann's unauthorized appearance on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" to promote his and Patrick's book.
Fortunately for Olbermann, someone else was knocking at the door. Fox Sports Net, which thrived on providing regional sports coverage, wanted to add a national sports show to compete with ESPN's "SportsCenter." Fox wanted a big name, a distinctive voice. They wanted Olbermann. When Fox offered to buy out his MSNBC contract, Olbermann breathed a sigh of relief and retreated to sports.