Thursday, CNN and Turner Sports announced the hiring of Rachel Nichols, formerly of ESPN. Nichols willl host a weekend sports program on CNN in addition to covering multiple sports across Turner's network. Details from the announcement:
"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."
We can't help but notice a trend of female reporters leaving ESPN – first it was Erin Andrews, then Michelle Beadle, and now Nichols has left the self-proclaimed worldwide leader for a bigger opportunity at a different network.
Andrews, for example, went from sideline reporter to hosting the Fox college football pregame. Beadle also has her own show on NBC Sports Network, but left ESPN to branch out to entertainment. Similarly, Nichols will have a wider range of opportunities at CNN in hosting her own weekend sports show, something likely not to happen in Bristol. ESPN still has plenty of notable female personalities like Doris Burke, Hannah Storm, Sage Steele, Charissa Thompson, Lisa Salters, etc. Maybe ESPN should be given credit for helping to forward the careers of Andrews, Beadle, and Nichols, but it is becoming apparent that these female sports personalities are finding bigger and perhaps better roles outside ESPN.