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Volume 26 No. 7
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Does Fagan Departure Signal Further Editorial Shift For ESPN?

Fagan in her next endeavor will be speaking about mental health and sports on college campuses
Photo: ESPN IMAGES

Despite Kate Fagan still wanting to focus on "sports-connected stories," her decision to exit ESPN at the end of this year is a "further sign of changing times" at the company, according to Andrew Bucholtz of AWFUL ANNOUNCING. It feels like ESPN is "pulling back toward more of an on-field focus, and away from content that could be seen as political, or even just cultural," and that "doesn’t feel like a good fit for some of the stories Fagan says she wants to tell" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 11/19). THE BIG LEAD's Kyle Koster noted Fagan's role saw her "dive into issues of culture and identity," and her exit "opens up the door to questions about the network’s commitment to journalism in those arenas, even if Fagan is on record saying they still care" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 11/19). In Philadelphia, Rob Tornoe noted Fagan's exit is reflective of ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro's effort to "foster a better relationship with the NFL by focusing more on sports and steering clear of politics." Fagan said of her future, "I'm working with (production company) Embassy Row to develop something for the next eight months. I'm speaking about mental health and sports on college campuses" (PHILLY.com, 11/19).