Katie Nolan
Source: Getty Images

Why Did Katie Nolan Leave ESPN? Here's Why the TV and Podcast Host Is Saying Goodbye

Bianca Piazza - Author

Sep. 29 2021, Published 8:44 p.m. ET

“I’ve thought about sending this tweet for weeks and I still have no clue how to make it not make you all roll your eyes,” TV and podcast host Katie Nolan began her tweet from Sept. 29, which caused quite the uproar online among sports fans. The tone in her post is undoubtedly melancholy (and a bit sassy), but Katie, who "puts herself out there for a living," as stated by her Instagram bio, seems to be at peace with the fact that she's no longer an ESPN employee.

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After her four-year stint at Fox Sports, which was where she hosted Garbage Time with Katie Nolan, a series that The Atlantic deemed "the future of sports TV," Katie was welcomed aboard by ESPN in 2017. There, she hosted the late-night show Always Late with Katie Nolan on ESPN2 and ESPN Plus, as well as the podcast Sports? with Katie Nolan. She breathed new life and some refreshing feministic sarcasm into the world of sports commentary, so what happened? Why did Katie leave ESPN? Let's discuss.

Katie Nolan at the 2018 ESPYS
Source: Getty Images
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Why did Katie Nolan leave ESPN?

"Alas: the obvious thing has happened. I no longer work at ESPN. I’m really grateful for my time here," Katie's Sept. 29, 2021 tweet continued. "I made incredible friendships and valuable mistakes." We deeply feel that last part. Aside from her nighttime gig, the 34-year-old also co-hosted ESPN's Highly Questionable until the show's end on Sept. 10. So, as she clearly was adored by ESPN (her yearly salary was more than a whopping $1 million), what went wrong?

“We thank Katie for her contributions to ESPN and wish her luck in the future,” ESPN said in a public statement. That gives us zero tea, we demand more info, ESPN! Well, USA Today's FTW seems to think it all has to do with faulty scheduling, as her shows and appearances left her showcasing her chops at weird times. Not only was Highly Questionable recently canceled but Always Late was canceled in 2020. Was any of this her fault? Fans and sportswriters alike seem to think the answer is a hard "no."

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Fans gushed over her on Twitter, wishing her the best while also highlighting their anger with both Fox Sports and ESPN for wasting a refreshing and progressive talent in such a dry, male-dominated industry. "I swear ESPN fumbled so hard with Katie Nolan, all they had to do was give her an hour-long show talking sports and culture with Mina Kimes," wrote Twitter user and fan @norwaycourt, chiming in on the support.

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What does Katie Nolan's next move look like?

Well, it looks like even she doesn't know for sure. "This year of slowing down has affected me on a cellular level. If you listen to the podcast this isn’t news to you," she also tweeted today. "What’s next for me is to figure out how/where/when this new me can use the skills the old me acquired to make the stuff I think needs making. And maybe a vacation?" Girl, we really think you deserve that vacation.

Whether Katie Nolan was let go or she willingly walked away from ESPN, we know her future is bright and filled with sports-related wit and charm.

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