Katie Nolan

The long-rumored Katie Nolan-to-ESPN move appears one step closer to reality.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Nolan is negotiating a release from her Fox Spots contract, which is believed to conclude at the end of 2017. Deitsch reports that her official release is imminent.

Nolan, who joined FS1 when it launched in 2013, has appeared on the network only sparingly since her show, Garbage Time, was canceled earlier this year. Since then, rumors have flown about ESPN attempting to lure the host, and in July, Jim Miller reported that Nolan would in fact leave Fox for ESPN, either when her contract ran up or before then. Deitsch’s report suggests she has succeeded in pushing for an early release.

From the outside, Fox Sports treatment of Nolan in recent months seems thoroughly bizarre. Nolan has a unique voice, a clear talent in front of the camera, and legions of loyal fans. She is widely considered a rising star in sports media, despite having been off the air for more than six months. Even if Fox didn’t like Garbage Time, how could the network not have made a more serious effort to build a program around her? How could they have offered a daily show to Clay Travis before her? How could they have apparently alienated one of their biggest stars?

Asked in August why Nolan didn’t have a show, Fox Sports president Eric Shanks responded, “I’m wondering that question too” and said, “We’d love to keep Katie as part of the Fox Sports family, either now or in the future.” Shanks reiterated that point to Deitsch on Tuesday:

“That is not something we are going to answer tonight,” Shanks said. “But you know I am super fond of Katie and she is an amazing talent,” Shanks continued. “I hope she is at Fox Sports for a long time because I think she is a unique voice.”

But despite Shanks’ comments, it seems that the Katie Nolan era at FS1 will come to an end sooner rather than later. We’ll soon see whether she winds up at ESPN and whether she makes Fox Sports sorry to have let her go.

[Sports Illustrated]

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.

  • Macunaima

    Rarely has so much been written about someone so mediocre.

    • Deon Hamner

      I wish I could like this 1000x…

    • Christopher Bates

      Clearly, you’re an expert in mediocre.

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    Legions of loyal fans? Then why didn’t they watch her show? You guys consistently overestimate her track record.

    • Tookie Clothespin

      Because it’s on a network that nobody thinks about? That was at least the issue for me. I enjoyed her show the couple of times that I watched it but, I just never thought about it because I watch nothing else on FS1. When I am flicking through my guide I pass right over FS1 without so much as a glance most of the time.

      • Inyoface

        Interesting. People haven’t had any trouble finding the Skip Bayless show. Same channel.

        • Tookie Clothespin

          And that is why I don’t watch FS1. I am aware of what their daily programming is. They air Second Take and that Cowherd Whitlock show 2 or 3 times a day. I don’t care for either of those shows. So, since they air 8-12 hours of TV daily that I refuse to watch I just always assume that those shows are on and bypass the channel entirely. Rereading my first sentence I realize that it reads a little harsher and know-it-all than I intended. I just meant that I know of more than a few people that don’t even consider FS1 a viewing option really. There probably isn’t much overlap between Bayless viewers and Nolan viewers. And by airing so much Bayless/Cowherd they might be driving off people that might be interested in Nolan’s show, like they did with myself.

          • Inyoface

            I get your point, but the numbers prove you are in the minority. There are shows on FS1 that get good ratings. People know when and where to tune in. Hers was not one of them. End of story. If ESPN wants those sloppy seconds, then I guess good for them. But haven’t they made enough bad decisions over the years to force them to layoff 500+ people? There are a bunch of way more talented individuals sitting at home laid off getting paid not to work by ESPN. Is she better than any of them? Nope. Not even close.

        • Deon Hamner

          LOL. Checkmate…

      • BK

        So if the Super Bowl was FS1, you would just assume it wasn’t on television? Or would you say to yourself “What channel is the Super Bowl on?”

        • Tookie Clothespin

          If the NFL only aired on FS1, was only advertised or talked about on FS1, and everything else that they aired stayed the same, then yes, I would probably miss the Super Bowl. Football would leave my consciousness. Even if it wasn’t I still might miss it. I’m a pretty big baseball fan and a huge Cubs fan so, I was really into the MLB playoffs last year. I think that I missed every single MLB playoff game last year that aired on FS1. I’d find out that it aired on FS1 the day after, I’d kick myself for missing it, and then I’d promptly forget that FS1 was airing games. That was my problem with Nolan’s show. Like I said above, I enjoyed it the couple of odd times that I stumbled upon it. It was only aired or advertised on FS1. And since 8-12 hours of their daily programming are shows or reruns of shows that I refuse to watch I just don’t think of them of having anything that I want to see and skip over that channel entirely when trying to find something to watch.

  • Bob Dobalina

    Nobody watched Bill Simmons on HBO. Doesn’t mean he isn’t popular or in demand at other networks. Nolan will be making big $$$ and have an important spot at ESPN soon

    • Parts

      There really are no spots on ESPN that should be considered “important”. At this point, I’m pretty sure the “S” stands for superfluous.

  • Inyoface

    Seriously. No one f-ing cares. This chick is nothing. Her show was cancelled for a reason. If it made money and brought in ratings, it would still be going strong. It didn’t Let’s not gloss that fact over. She brings nothing to the table. And let’s face it, ESPN doesn’t have “big money” to waste on hacks anyways. See layoffs a few months ago.

  • Deon Hamner

    I want to sit back and look at the comments come, when she hosts SportsNation and these fan boys have to support her on this show. But constantly complain about the talking heads on ESPN.

  • CreightonRabs

    “Garbage Time” was never a more appropriate name for a television show … because it was absolute garbage. But, hey, we’re not allowed to criticize Katie Nolan because she’s a girl. Got it.

  • Smarky Smark & The Funky Bunch

    She’s hot, young, funny and smart when she talks about sports. I look forward to Michele Beadle hating her for being everything she isn’t.

  • Jcool

    I am guessing with Michelle Beadle going to the ESPN morning show in NY, Nolan will be taking her role on SportsNation.

    • Dale Moog

      What a huge upgrade that would be. Beadle will be saddled to a total loser The Greeny show will so horrible. I mean if you take the two most no talent hacks at ESPN (Oh wait I mean No talent White hacks) you have the Greeny show. Clearly SC6 has the the most no talent hacks in case you were wondering.

  • U4XENU

    Seriously Alex either your her agent or a obsessed online stalker

  • sportsfan365

    These clowns are all interchangeable.

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