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Volume 22 No. 23
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ESPN’s Katie Nolan makes new push in digital world with late-night show

If you think Katie Nolan has been invisible since joining ESPN 11 months ago, you’re probably too old.

 

Nolan has co-hosted “Snapchat on SportsCenter” since last November, which has helped her find a new younger audience that she did not know existed. After her first couple of shows on the social media platform, she thought it was bombing because it was not generating a lot of reaction when she checked her Twitter feed.

 

“Then I logged into my Instagram,” Nolan said. “I had hundreds of messages from really young people. These were people who had never seen me before. It opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of young people who are using the same internet we use in a really different way. They’re paying attention to stuff that we dismiss as an app.”

 

Last week, Nolan launched a weekly late-night show on the ESPN+ streaming service called “Always Late with Katie Nolan,” which will hit on sports and pop culture topics. Nolan still wants to host the Snapchat show at least once a week but needs to figure out when.

 

"Always Late with Katie Nolan” launched last week on the ESPN+ streaming service.
Photo: ESPN Images

The move to keep a show on Snapchat while launching a show for ESPN’s streaming service gives Nolan a foothold in the digital world, which is how she got her start. Fox Sports hired her to co-host a television show in 2013 based on a series of YouTube videos she had made.

 

“When ‘Crowd Goes Wild’ got canceled and Fox gave me a digital series, I felt like I was going backwards. That’s bad,” Nolan said. “Now, in 2018, I don’t feel that way anymore. I know it’s only been five years, but thinking of the internet as the D-League of TV is kind of gone. That line is going to keep getting blurred between what’s TV and what’s internet.”

 

Nolan said she has learned to enjoy the freedom that comes with producing shows for a digital audience.

 

“If next week we decide that something was a little bit too long or too short, we can change it,” she said. “I know everybody probably says this the day their show launches to kind of hedge for themselves. But I do think that the show we’re making today is going to be vastly different from the one we’re making in the middle of football season. I have no idea what’s going to happen.”

John Ourand can be reached at jourand@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ourand_SBJ.