On Monday, Lindsay Czarniak tweeted that ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill was “sad and disappointing on a number of levels.” The message mirrored what much of the sports media world was saying about the Hill saga, but we were still still somewhat surprised to see such blunt and unambiguous criticism coming from a current ESPN anchor.

But as Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported Tuesday (and as Awful Announcing has since confirmed), Czarniak no longer works at ESPN. The anchor left by choice, declining to renew her contract when it ran up in August.

Frankly, this was news to us. Czarniak still lists ESPN in her Twitter bio, and there is no mention of her departure from ESPN on either Twitter or Facebook, though she did stop posting photos of herself and her colleagues in July. Typically, high-profile personalities offer dramatic good-byes, either on air or on social media, but Czarniak seems to have slipped away quietly.

Czarniak joined ESPN in 2011 and hosted SportsCenter, SportsNation, and NASCAR Now over her six years in Bristol. She had hosted the 6 p.m. ET SportsCenter show (first with John Anderson and then solo) before Hill and Michael Smith took over that slot earlier this year. This summer, she worked the 7 a.m. ET SportsCenter alongside Kevin Negandhi and Jay Harris, but that show will be bumped to ESPN2 next year with the debut of Mike Greenberg’s long-planned morning show, and it’s possible she worried about seeing her role there decreased. Of course, it’s just as possible that she walked away for completely unrelated reasons.

Though Czarniak looked like somewhat of an odd person out in the ever-shifting programming lineup at ESPN, she survived the company’s mass layoffs in April, so clearly the brass there wanted to keep her around. We don’t know where Czarniak will head next, but she’s a talented broadcaster with an impressive resume, so she will certainly have opportunities if/when she wants them.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Deon Hamner

    It’s a shame. Wish her well. She just had a baby so maybe she wanted more time at home. She will be successful no matter what she does….

    • Walt_Gekko

      Very surprised, but it’s likely she wanted to spend more time at home (especially with her husband, Craig Melvin). Maybe she joins her husband at NBC.

      • Shawn Diiorio

        She has 2 kids now also, so more time around family is a necessity with that.

        • Walt_Gekko

          I knew they (Czarniak and Melvin) had one child together, didn’t know they have two.

          That’s what I did actually mean in my earlier response. She likely wants to spend time with her family (and be able to more easily live in New York and not commute to Bristol). As said, I would not be surprised if she eventually joins her husband at NBC.

  • MrBull

    Very talented person who probably felt her career was going to be stuck in neutral once she was no longer hosting the 6 pm Sportscenter….

  • Matt

    I wonder what is next for her.

  • Shawn Diiorio

    I figured something was up because she had not been seen on tv in months.

    Nothing personal, but she didn’t bring anything unique to the table to justify paying her more money than someone else. So it made sense with all the budget cuts to just let her leave when her contract was up.

  • Shawn Rychling

    On Monday, Lindsay Czarniak tweeted that ESPN’s suspension of Jemele Hill was “sad and disappointing on a number of levels.” The message mirrored what much of the sports media world was saying about the Hill saga”

    Yes, Alex, because much of the sports media world, including yourself, lives in a left-wing bubble, smugly and self-righteously thinking you are correct all the time and can tell the rest of us how to think.

  • A.J.

    Thanks for being two months late to what was obvious to anybody paying attention.

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