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Sports Media World Reacts To ESPN's Big News

A general photo of ESPN's set.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)

There was major news out of ESPN this week.

Most notably, the network announced that veteran host Rachel Nichols will no longer be appearing on the air. Nichols' show, The Jump, is reportedly being canceled. ESPN is re-working its NBA coverage moving forward.

“We mutually agreed that this approach regarding our NBA coverage was best for all concerned,” David Roberts, the senior vice president for production at ESPN, said in a statement. “Rachel is an excellent reporter, host and journalist, and we thank her for her many contributions to our NBA content.”

Nichols took to social media to react, as well.

“Got to create a whole show and spend five years hanging out with some of my favorite people  talking about one my favorite things,” Nichols said. “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.” 

ESPN's decision comes a couple of months after the controversy with Nichols and former host Maria Taylor. Nichols was heard in a leaked 2020 audio recording questioning ESPN's pushing of Taylor. ESPN later removed Nichols from its NBA Finals coverage and Taylor left the network for NBC. Now, ESPN is getting crushed for how it handled everything. Sports media critic Andrew Marchand believes ESPN "embarrassed" itself.

He wrote:

The fiasco was the result of embarrassing, indecisive management from ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro on down.

More than a year ago, ESPN did not do anything of substance about Nichols’ comments when they first found out about them. Nothing. Nada.

ESPN management felt Nichols’ words were so harmful, it only made a rule that Taylor and Nichols would not appear on the air together. Passive, meet Aggressive.

He wasn't alone, either.

Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina crushed ESPN, as well.

"ESPN completely botched the Rachel Nichols controversy every step of the way and then humiliated her on the way out," he wrote.

It's clear that ESPN could have handled the Rachel Nichols - Maria Taylor situation better from the jump. How they handle everything moving forward will be very interesting.