Kay Adams is having an eventful Fall.
She left NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” in May after spending six years hosting the program. She explained in a wide-ranging conversation — on behalf of Smirnoff — her reasons for leaving the show, ongoing talks to potentially return to NFL Network, how negotiations with Amazon falling through and her new deal with FanDuel.
Asked last week about her recent career developments, Adams said, “I knew last year that I wasn’t coming back to ‘Good Morning Football.’ My contract was up. I didn’t want to renew because I just wanted to try something different.”
But, she disclosed, she is still trying to strike a new deal with NFL Network.
“I love NFL Network and NFL Media. But as far as opportunities there — we’re still trying. We’re still efforting to get something done because I miss it. But I knew well into last year that I was going to leave ‘Good Morning Football.’ I didn’t have a job lined lined up,” said Adams, who is partnering with Smirnoff in the vodka brand’s search for a “cocktail coordinator” this NFL season.
“FanDuel is a company that’s been talking to me for a long time. They want to be in the content game in a really big way, and they’re leaning in to do that. When it came down to it, it was a nice offer. I’m moving to L.A., which is insane because I’m such a New Yorker I can’t even drive.”
Towards the end of her contract with NFL Network, Adams found herself in need of a new challenge.
“It wasn’t like I left for something,” Adams said. “You know what it is? I’ll be totally honest with you. I felt like my work there was done. Like, ‘Do I stay here, and it’s comfortable, however many more years, in this job that I love, and is a grind, of course? Or do I just want to see what’s out there?’”
It had been widely believed in industry circles that Adams was a top candidate for the role hosting Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” coverage — a job that ultimately went to Charissa Thompson.
“They made me an offer,” Adams said. “We’d also been in talks for a really, really long time. It’s a job I really wanted. I’m disappointed we couldn’t come to terms and a deal was never made.”
Nonetheless Adams is excited for her role at FanDuel, which has rebranded the linear horse racing network TVG into a channel that will have a combination of studio programming and live sports.
“We’re super excited,” she said. “Not every day, not everywhere you work, does the CEO sit down and talk to you about what you want, what you consider success, and how we accomplish that. Amy Howe, the CEO of FanDuel, has sat with me for a long time to talk with me about that — the CMO Mike Raffensperger as well.
“Everyone is really invested in just putting out good content. I’m gonna do a show for them and Pat McAfee says this about FanDuel a lot — they’re supportive. I’m a novice in the gaming space, but it’s something I’m going to learn with the audience. It’s not a [pure] gambling show at all.”
Since leaving “Good Morning Football,” Adams has been criss-crossing the globe. She described her travels and hinted at more news to come.
“I went to Africa, I went to Greece. I went all over Europe. I went to Wimbledon. I spent time with family,” she said. “It just kind of aligned with this — and I wouldn’t say FanDuel is all I’ll be doing.”
Entrants to be a “cocktail coordinator” for Smirnoff can upload video of themselves making a Smirnoff cocktail here. The winner gets a trip to the Super Bowl in Arizona.