Katie Nolan Announces She Is No Longer With ESPN
“The news comes less than a year after Nolan re-signed with ESPN, only to have them lay off her podcast co-host and producer, Ashley Braband, who had been with the company for 13 years.”
Katie Nolan announced she is no longer working at ESPN. The podcast and TV host broke the news on Twitter. She had been with the company since leaving Fox Sports in 2017.
“I’ve thought about sending this tweet for weeks,” Nolan wrote on Twitter. “I still have no clue how to make it not make you all roll your eyes. Alas: the obvious thing has happened. I no longer work at ESPN. I’m really grateful for my time here. I made incredible friendships and valuable mistakes.”
Nolan came over to ESPN four years ago following a four-year run at Fox Sports. During her ESPN tenure, she hosted the ESPN+ series Always Late with Katie Nolan and her podcast Sports? with Katie Nolan, and frequently appeared on other now-defunct programs, such as Highly Questionable and The Dan Le Batard Show.
The news comes less than a year after Nolan re-signed with ESPN, only to have them lay off her podcast co-host and producer, Ashley Braband, who had been with the company for 13 years.
“We didn’t know this was happening,” Nolan said during a podcast episode recorded at the time. “Some of us didn’t know this was happening to the point where they recently signed a contract. And so we are now in a situation where this is the only thing I have to do, and now I have to do it alone, I think.”
That decision, along with an undefined role for Nolan amidst a rapidly changing pandemic media environment, seemingly pushed the host out ESPN.
“Ashley’s reached a situation where she’s worked at this company for [13 years] now, and found out that she is done working here on her birthday, which is cool,” Nolan said sarcastically.
Braband did land on her feet, as she is now the head of development for Omaha Productions, Peyton Manning’s production company. Nolan on the other hand now has the sports media world as her oyster.
She’ll soon have an opportunity to look at a variety of situations and determine where she fits best. Independent media voices have been flourishing all over the place lately, with Ariel Helwani, Dan Le Batard and others providing a template for Nolan to emulate if she wishes to do so.
Russ Heltman is a daily news writer for BSM. He is the morning host and producer for 89.3 WMKV in Cincinnati, OH. He also works in gameday communications for FC Cincinnati and additionally contributes to the AllBengals blog for Sports Illustrated. Russ can be found on Twitter @RussHeltman11 or you can reach him by email at Heltmandm@yahoo.com.
Blue Wire Adding Podcasts Cut During SB Nation Downsizing
Blue Wire has announced it is adding three NBA podcasts that were cut during a downsizing by Vox Media that hit SB Nation earlier this year.
Lakers Lounge, hosted by Anthony Irwin, Green With Envy, hosted by Will Weir, Greg Maneikis, and Adam Taylor, and Pod Maverick with Kirk Henderson are all being revived with Blue Wire.
“We’ve built Blue Wire around being able to identify exceptional talent hitting the podcast free agency market,” said Blue Wire CEO Kevin Jones. “We were thrilled to act quickly and provide a new home for three standout local NBA podcasts.”
“I’ve known Kevin for years and we’ve often spoken about working together,” Irwin said. “I couldn’t possibly be more excited to add to all the great work Blue Wire has become known for as we finally see years of conversations become a fruitful partnership.”
The former SB Nation programs that follow the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Dallas Mavericks, respectively, were able to negotiate the ownership of their podcasts with Vox, allowing them to bring their former feeds with them to Blue Wire.
The addition of the three podcasts adds to the company’s growing list of NBA shows. Currently, Blue Wire hosts Road Trippin’ with Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, and No Chill with Gilbert Arenas, among others.
Rob Parker Bringing MLBBro.com Podcast To iHeartRadio
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball.”
Rob Parker loves Major League Baseball and he is expanding his reach in the sport. His site MLBBro.com is taking another step forward just weeks after announcing a partnership with the league to provide coverage of minority players from the past and present.
He will add a podcast to the brand’s portfolio. The MLBBro Show Podcast – The Mixtape will join the iHeartRadio podcast lineup. While Parker oversees the brand, the show will be led by MLBbro.com’s Vice President of Operations JR Gamble.
Gamble brings more than two decades of experience covering the league to the show. The first episode drops right after Opening Day on March 31.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking project – this sound has never been heard before in connection with Major League Baseball,” said Parker, who has been a Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) member since 1990.
“It’s baseball coverage with hot sauce, loud and proud and in living color. Get on board from day one!”
What Implications Would TikTok Ban Have on Sports Media & Business?
“Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support.”
If TikTok is banned in the United States, a very realistic possibility, the ad market around sports and sports media stands to take a significant hit. Front Office Sports took a look at the companies that used the social video platform to advertise to sports audiences in 2022 and 2023.
Among the advertisers making major investments in TikTok was Degree, whose March Madness advertising campaign includes an ad that is exclusive to TikTok and stars Giannis Antetokounmpo. For the Super Bowl, T-Mobile supplemented its FOX ad buy with a TikTok campaign, while State Farm chose to skip the network broadcast of the game and spend all of its advertising with the digital platform.
It’s not only advertisers. Leagues and networks factor TikTok prominently into reaching younger audiences. The WWE, FIFA and the NBA all saw significant growth in their audiences on the app last year. On top of that, FOX and ESPN both have taken advertising money from TikTok in the past for postseason baseball and college football broadcasts respectively.
Prominent Democrats have spoken out against banning TikTok in the United States, but the effort has bipartisan support. The Biden administration and other lawmakers have voiced concern about the security threat the Chinese government’s involvement with the app poses to Americans and their personal data.
The appeal of TikTok for networks and advertisers is easy to see. Between 2021 and 2022, no social media platform showed more growth for engagement from sports fans. TikTok’s sports audience jumped 65% in that timeframe. Facebook saw 22% growth and for Twitter, it was just 8%.