Well, this is an interesting hire by CNN/Turner Sports. We haven’t seen regular sports coverage on CNN since the demise of the late, great nightly Sports Tonight that was co-anchored by Nick Charles and Fred Hickman. Now comes word that CNN and Turner have hired reporter Rachel Nichols. She’ll be utilized by CNN right away for the Super Bowl. In addition, she’ll anchor a weekend show focusing on sports personalities. CNN says that show will premiere later this year.
For Turner Sports, Rachel will be seen regularly on its NBA and MLB coverage. I imagine that she’ll also be seen on CBS/Turner’s NCAA Tournament coverage as well.
And for CNN, she’ll cover the Olympics, so Rachel will be CNN’s Sports Department.
We have the official joint CNN/Turner Sports announcement.
Nichols Will Anchor New Weekend CNN Sports Program and Report for Turner Sports Across Television and Digital Platforms
CNN and Turner Sports have hired veteran ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide, and David Levy, President, Sales, Distribution & Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Nichols will serve as a sports reporter for CNN and Turner Sports and will anchor a new weekend sports program on CNN/U.S. beginning later this year. Her CNN program will focus on the most interesting stories and personalities in the world of sports. In her role with Turner Sports, Nichols will handle a wide variety of assignments across the division’s vast sports properties including the NBA and Major League Baseball. Additionally, Nichols will cover all major sporting events, including the Olympics for CNN. Her first assignment will be the Super Bowl in New Orleans.
“We’re just thrilled that a sports journalist of Rachel’s stature and expertise will now be a regular part of the CNN lineup,” said Zucker. “Her arrival, beginning next week, is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN.”
“Rachel is a high profile talent and skilled reporter and we are proud to have her join the Turner Broadcasting family,” said Levy. “Rachel’s broadcast experience covering a wide variety of assignments including breaking news, major sports events, human interest features and investigative pieces will be a perfect fit across Turner Sports’ many properties and platforms.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to join the CNN and Turner Sports family,” said Nichols. “I believe in Jeff’s vision for CNN, and have always admired the great work of Turner Sports and what David has done there. I’m looking forward to getting started at the Super Bowl.”
Prior to joining CNN and Turner Sports, Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, working as a correspondent for SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, NBA Countdown and the network’s newsmagazine show, E:60, as well performing sideline duties on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts. Earlier in her career, Nichols worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
A native of Potomac, Maryland, Nichols received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Overall, a very good hire by Turner Broadcasting.
UPDATE, 4:45 p.m.: ESPN has issued a statement through spokesman Josh Krulewitz:
Best of luck @rachel__nichols — a great ESPN contributor for years. We wish her continued success in her new opportunity
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) January 24, 2013