Tara Slone. (Image from speakers.ca.)

Around the late-June news that Canada’s Sportsnet had canceled their long-running Hometown Hockey broadcasts, a key question was what that meant for hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone. MacLean told Sean Fitz-Gerald of The Athletic that he was set to continue on Saturday Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts (albeit without a finalized contract at that point), but there wasn’t much on what was ahead for Slone. On Tuesday, Slone confirmed on Twitter that she’s leaving Sportsnet, and put out a thank you to the people she worked with:

What Slone says in the second-to-last paragraph there is perhaps particularly notable for what’s ahead for her:

“As for what comes next, I can only say that I will remain dedicated to telling inclusive and engaging stories, and pushing for equity and equality in sport. It is thanks to Hometown Hockey that I found my passion for this work, and it will always be my focus.”

It’s unfortunate to hear that Slone won’t be a continued part of Sportsnet’s hockey coverage elsewhere, as she brought a valuable dimension to the Hometown Hockey broadcasts. From honest and heartfelt commentaries on serious league issues (to a degree rarely seen on any rightsholder) to insightful segments showing off the different host communities to smart discussion of game action, she did a solid job on this broadcast for almost a decade. She also voiced some interesting essays for those broadcasts. Here’s one from International Women’s Day this year, covering women in sports and broadcasting, and what she and several prominent female athletes and broadcasters would tell their younger selves:

And here’s one from April 2020 on the early impacts of COVID-19 across Canada and the way the sports world was changing with it:

We’ll see what’s next for Slone, who’s done a lot in the music and radio worlds in addition to her sports broadcasting work. But her run on Hometown Hockey was a strong one. And her statement here suggests she’s interested in telling more stories in the sports realm.

[Tara Slone on Twitter; image from speakers.ca]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.