Longtime ESPN reporter and host Rachel Nichols will no longer appear on ESPN’s NBA programming, and the network will cancel her weekday afternoon show The Jump.
Sports Business Journal was first on the news Wednesday afternoon, and Nichols confirmed it on Twitter.
Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people ❤️ talking about one my favorite things 🏀 An eternal thank you to our amazing producers & crew – The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun. 😎
More to come… pic.twitter.com/FPMFRlfJinAdvertisement
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 25, 2021
This news isn’t particularly surprising if you’ve been following Nichols’ trajectory at the network over the past couple of months. The network removed Nichols from its coverage of the NBA Finals in July.
The decision to remove Nichols from the sideline had been made in the wake of a New York Times report published on July 4 about highly disrespectful comments Nichols made in July 2020 about on-air colleague Maria Taylor during a private conversation that was being recorded. Nichols was unaware that the private conversation with LeBron James’ PR adviser, Adam Mendelsohn, was being recorded, and the audio was leaked by an ESPN employee who no longer works at the sports network. Neither does Taylor, who left the network right after the Finals and almost immediately landed at NBC.
Nichols has a year remaining on her contract with ESPN. New York Post’s Andrew Marchand added that the longtime ESPN newser will continue to be paid, but won’t be on-air.
Nichols joined ESPN in 2004. Based in New York, she covered major sporting events, breaking news and conducted high-profile interviews. Nichols was most often seen on SportsCenter, NFL Countdown and Outside the Lines, and was also a recurring sideline reporter on Monday Night Football. In 2007, she also became one of the original correspondents to launch E:60.
Nichols made the jump to Turner Sports in 2013. She rejoined ESPN in 2016, based out of Los Angeles, and focused her talents on ESPN’s NBA programming.