There’s been a lot of uncertainty about Katie Nolan’s status at Fox Sports, with the company not renewing Garbage Time in February but saying they “could not be more excited about Katie Nolan’s future with FOX Sports” at that time. Since then, media reporter Jim Miller tweeted in July that ESPN was trying to lure Nolan (potentially even before her Fox contract expired at the end of the year), and that her exit was perhaps even more likely following Jamie Horowitz’s firing for sexual harassment (as he reportedly had a meeting planned with her that was cancelled by his exit).
Now, Fox Sports president Eric Shanks (who’s also essentially assumed Horowitz’s role as president of national networks as well, at least for the time being, and is currently overseeing FS1’s programming) has also displayed uncertainty about Nolan’s future. Shanks told Kevin Draper of The New York Times (at a First Things First media preview Wednesday) he’s not sure why Nolan doesn’t currently have a FS1 show:
The FS1 host Katie Nolan would have been a front-runner for a daily show in either the afternoon or late night slot. Her weekly show, “Garbage Time with Katie Nolan,” ran for three seasons before ending in February. “I’d love to be four or five nights a week, ideally,” she told Sporting News. “And we’re working toward that.”The network “could not be more excited about Katie Nolan’s future with FOX Sports,” [executive vice president of FS1 content Charlie] Dixon said in February.
But since then she has all but disappeared from FS1. “Man I miss working,” she tweeted in May. Amid reports that she will decamp for ESPN as soon as her contract is up — her agent declined to comment — Shanks did not offer any clarity.
“We’d love to keep Katie as part of the Fox Sports family, either now or in the future,” he said. But when asked why, if Fox Sports executives like Nolan, they can’t find a show for her, Shanks shrugged.
“I’m wondering that question too,” he said.
Fox’s handling of the Nolan situation has created plenty of blowback, with SI’s Richard Deitsch calling their February praise of her “absolute bullshit” earlier this month given how they haven’t used her. And Shanks’ comments really don’t clarify much; saying they’d “love to keep Katie” is all well and good, but we don’t know what, if anything, that’s actually entailed in terms of tangible offers. (Nolan’s agent declined to comment to Draper.) Perhaps Fox really hasn’t offered much (there have been reports that most of their programming energy of late has been dedicated to preparing First Things First), or perhaps what they’ve offered hasn’t been a good fit in Nolan’s eyes.
In any case, these comments do make one part of the situation clearer. They indicate that Shanks values Nolan (at least in comments to reporters), and given that he’s in charge of FS1’s programming, that’s rather important. So it’s not that the new management structure is moving on from Nolan (at least, not publicly and not yet). But whether that will lead to Nolan again having a show on FS1 is an open question, and one that doesn’t seem to have a high probability of a “Yes” answer at the moment.