Kate Fagan was offered a contract extension to remain at ESPN, but she tells The Washington Post that she declined to sign it. She will leave the network at the end of 2018. Fagan wrote for ESPN: The Magazine and espnW. She also appeared on a number of ESPN shows including Outside the Lines, Around the Horn, and First Take.
“To continue at ESPN I would have to be immersed in the day-to-day in sports,” Fagan stold interviewer Ben Strauss. “And I found myself more and more interested in other aspects of sports — like how it connects to our culture. That was not going to be the big business of ESPN.”
Fagan’s most well-known stories for ESPN: The Magazine have been on the topics of sexual identity and mental health. While she didn’t explicitly say that she didn’t feel like she would be able to write those kinds of articles any longer, she did say that changes to sports media in general are at the heart of her departure from Bristol.
With regular host Bob Ley on sabbatical, Fagan has been serving as a guest host of Outside the Lines. In the interview she hinted at the possibility that the show may not have much longer. “At various points, the show has fought for its life in the programming schedule, so that was not a factor [in the departure],” she said. “But because it’s a show and a brand and a group of people who are doing important work, I have one eye on it, hoping it continues at ESPN, because it’s invaluable.”
Fagan has not announced any future plans. Alison Overholt, vice president and editor-in-chief of espnW and ESPN: The Magazine, called Fagan “a true talent” and wished her well.