NBC has hired a replacement for forme Notre Dame sideline reporter Alex Flanagan, and its someone who can fill a couple of key roles at the network.

NHL Network host Kathryn Tappen will do the job for NBC Sports in 2014, as part of her new overall role with the network. She will also serve as the regular fill-in host for NHL studio coverage on NBCSN (Liam McHugh will remain the main host), be a part of the network’s Olympic coverage in both 2016 and 2018 and cap it all off as a reporter for Football Night in America. Tappen will remain a host of “signature events” for the NHL Network, which Comcast (whom also owns NBC) owns a percentage of.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the NBC Sports team and to work on some of the most high-profile events in sports,” said Tappen. “This opportunity represents the best of both worlds as I can continue to work on hockey, including signature events for NHL Network, while also covering sports that I’ve worked on in the past and have had a passion for since childhood, such as the Olympics, the NFL and college football.”

“With extensive studio and reporting experience as well as in-depth knowledge of the NHL, Kathryn is the perfect fit for our growing stable of properties and programs,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports & NBCSN.

I’ll say this on Tappen’s behalf, for those who may be unfamiliar with her: I’ve written a lot of negative things about the NHL Network. I never, however, took much issue with Tappen, as she was a symbol of competency on a network that didn’t often set itself up to look that way. Given the chance to succeed at these NBC properties, I think she’s an excellent hire.

That said, it was a little odd to see Notre Dame themselves welcome Tappen to the fold…


About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.

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