At the beginning of 2017, the New England Patriots completed a historic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons. As the sports media world exploded with every reaction and hot take possible following the Falcons’ collapse, one voice was glaringly missing. At the time, Katie Nolan was the host of Garbage Time with Katie Nolan, a late night sports and culture show on Fox Sports 1. Over the approximately two years that she hosted the show, the New England-born personality did not necessarily have great ratings but had become a loud enough voice that the show won a Sports Emmy in 2016.
Even though her hometown New England Patriots had won the Super Bowl in dramatic fashion and she likely had plenty to say on the matter, Garbage Time disappeared from the Fox Sports 1 lineup. Fox eventually announced that her show would be reworked. However, Nolan sat idly waiting to get back to work. Following seven months without working, Nolan left Fox for ESPN. Fans of Katie were excited to have her back in the fold, but many were confused as to why it took so long to get her back on the air.
In a recent episode of Richard Deitsch’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Nolan opened up about her departure from Fox and her subsequent jump to the worldwide leader.
Fox was dealing with the dismissal of Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz at the time Nolan was trying to get back to work. She explained why she left to Deitsch.
“I’m starting to get really disoriented about who I was, what mattered, if I was worth it, if I was ever going to work again. It started to get really irrationally dark for me for a while. So I talked to (Eric) Shanks and said, ‘You’ve got a lot on your plate obviously, you’re doing the jobs of multiple people now, given what happened, and I know I’m not going to be your top priority, and I understand that, but you have to let me go. I just have to get back to work.’ And he wasn’t like, ‘Go ahead, bye,’ he was like, ‘We would love to keep you, and I don’t want to let you go, but I hear you, I understand you, and if what you’re saying is that this is really what you want, then we’ll let you go.’ It was really, really tough. It was probably one of the toughest conversations that I’ve had, but to be honest I was pretty proud of myself that I had the guts.”