Behind the Mic: Kate Fagan Departs from ESPN; Football Night in America Crew To Call Falcons-Saints

Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Kate Fagan is departing ESPN after seven years, the cast of NBC’s Football Night in America will call the Thanksgiving nightcap between New Orleans and Atlanta, Fox Sports signs up notable NFL names to their daily football studio show on FS1, and the Athletic hires Armen Keteyian and other notable vets to improve their video content initiative.

The Washington Post is reporting that Kate Fagan will be departing ESPN after spending seven years with the network. A feature writer for espnW and a personality on several ESPN shows, Fagan told the Washington Post that she declined the option to extend her contract that concludes at the end of 2018.

“To continue at ESPN, I would have to be immersed in the day-to-day in sports,” she said. “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 started her journalistic career after playing college basketball at the University of Colorado. After joining ESPN in 2012, she focuses on feature-writing pieces and eventually moved to on-air opportunities on Around the Horn and Outside the Lines.

“Kate is a true talent,” said espnW and ESPN The Magazine editor-in-chief Alison Overholt. “It’s been a real pleasure seeing her develop her voice at ESPN over the years, on issues across sports and beyond. We wish her all the best on her next chapter…”

…According to the Associated Press, Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, and Rodney Harrison will be in the booth rather than in the Football Night in America sudios, calling the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons contest on the night of Thanksgiving. Tirico, who does play-by-play on Notre Dame games for NBC, spent years as the main voice on ESPN’s Monday Night Football games and has been working nationally televised contests on holidays since 2002. Dungy has had some experience in the booth alongside, but for Harrison, this will be his first time…

…As the second half of the 2018-19 NFL season heats up, Fox Sports secured an all-star lineup of NFL analysts as contributors on FS1’s daily studio shows. FS1’s strong weekday lineup is bolstered by the experience behind 30 Pro Bowl appearances, three Super Bowl wins, two Pro Football Hall of Fame careers, and multiple future Hall of Famers.

Former NFL standouts Eric Dickerson, DeAngelo Hall, James Harrison, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Shawne Merriman, Bart Scott, Rod Woodson, and former head coach Chuck Pagano will appear regularly on FS1 and Fox Sports’ digital properties…

…Sports Business Daily is reporting that The Athletic has hired Armen Keteyian, Alan Goldberg, and Victor Frank to head their video department. Keteyian will exclusively be stationed on the website as an anchor and executive producer. As for Goldberg and Frank, they will both be executive producers on other platforms run by the company. With these three at the forefront, The Athletic is priming a spring debut for video content on their platform…

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