ESPN Cancels Nichols’s Show After Her Remarks About a Colleague

ESPN has taken Rachel Nichols off its N.B.A. programming and canceled “The Jump,” the day by day basketball present she has hosted for 5 years, the community confirmed Wednesday.

The present’s cancellation comes one month after The New York Times reported on disparaging feedback made by Nichols about Maria Taylor, one in every of her colleagues at ESPN on the time. In a dialog with an adviser to the Lakers star LeBron James, Nichols, who’s white, stated that Taylor, who’s Black, had been chosen to host 2020 N.B.A. finals protection as an alternative of her as a result of ESPN executives have been “feeling pressure” on variety.

Nichols was unaware the dialog was being recorded. Taylor has since left ESPN and joined NBC.

“We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our N.B.A. coverage was best for all concerned,” stated Dave Roberts, the chief who oversees ESPN’s N.B.A. studio exhibits.

The strikes have been first reported by Sports Business Journal.

It is unclear whether or not Nichols will likely be on ESPN’s airwaves once more. She signed a contract extension final yr, however ESPN declined to say whether or not she’s going to seem on different exhibits. A consultant for Nichols didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In a put up on Twitter, Nichols thanked the present’s crew and wrote that “The Jump was never built to last forever but it sure was fun.”

In the wake of the Times report, ESPN eliminated Nichols from her function as a sideline reporter for the N.B.A. finals and canceled one episode of “The Jump.” But she continued internet hosting the present by way of the finals till Aug. 16, when she went on trip. Malika Andrews hosted for the remainder of the week in her absence.

Outside of video games themselves, “The Jump” was ESPN’s most outstanding N.B.A. programming. Nichols regularly interviewed stars and newsmakers like Adam Silver, the commissioner of the N.B.A., on the present. “The Jump” was nominated for one sports activities Emmy, as was Nichols for her internet hosting function, nevertheless it by no means discovered big viewership.

Roberts is the ESPN govt who determined to finish “The Jump” and pull Nichols from N.B.A. studio programming. Two weeks in the past, he acquired a promotion and took over a number of the duties beforehand held by Stephanie Druley, the chief who beforehand oversaw N.B.A. studio programming and the one who needed to cope with Nichols’s feedback on the recorded name.

The cancellation of “The Jump” is only one a part of a broader reshuffling of ESPN’s daytime lineup.

On Tuesday, ESPN introduced that Max Kellerman was leaving “First Take” — the place he had sparred with Stephen A. Smith — to host a new present that’s being developed. That present will doubtless be within the afternoon, as will likely be a new day by day N.B.A. present that can supplant “The Jump.”

Besides creating the brand new basketball present, earlier than the N.B.A. season begins in eight weeks, ESPN can even have to seek out a alternative for Taylor as host of “N.B.A. Countdown,” ESPN’s pregame and halftime present.