Ex-host Keith Olbermann left , with Dan Patrick, was hated in the office and reporter Karie Ross was the butt of lewd pranks. Recent embarrassments include a peeper videotaping ESPN frat-boy fave Erin Andrews pictured nude in her hotel room and the firing of baseball analyst Steve Phillips. She was drop-dead gorgeous, fun-loving, and propelled him to the top of an informal contest among his fellow executives over who had the hottest help, he recalled.
That is, until she began arriving late, looking disheveled and — worst of all — sporting tacky sweatpants. Her work suffered so much that he eventually let her go. Months later, she invited him out to lunch and finally admitted what was wrong.
Her life was spiraling out of control because of cocaine. Turning tricks, she answered. Only 14 million homes had it. HBO had just joined the scene three years before, and only reached a little over a million customers. Board meetings at 7 a. One time, when he was out-of-his-mind drunk, he made the helicopter emergency-land at least three times because he kept trying to open the door midair. The Christmas parties were particularly wild. It became like a big frat party. There were a lot of drugs being done in the bathroom.
Even without a lot of women, the men misbehaved. There was screwing in the hallways. Reporter Karie Ross recalled noticing the monitor above her head was tuned to the Playboy Channel. A dozen men gathered around her to gauge her reaction. That was on her first day. When Ross spoke out against this treatment, her contract was not renewed. The next decade was worse. When a mission statement against sexual harassment was posted on a wall, the night staff plastered it with tomatoes.
He was suspended for three months without pay. Olbermann joined the network in as an anchor for the popular 11 p. He was known for writing hourlong scripts in minutes, typing with one hand.
He frequently butted heads with the help and management. Many staff members were relieved, to say the least. Later, his contract was not renewed. Then there was the Erin Andrews incident, in which an overzealous fan stalked Andrews and videotaped her naked as she brushed her hair in a hotel room.
It was a nightmare. Every day and every night, every entertainment show covering it. In , ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips did just that, allegedly engaging in a fling with year-old production assistant Brooke Hundley, who, after being dumped, began to harass his wife. After a suspension, he was fired in October Kornheiser got a two-week, unpaid suspension. Storm responded in the book: