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:
It’s been over a week since the news came out, and I can now confirm that I am no longer with Sportsnet, having parted ways on good terms.
I wanted to share some thoughts on my time with Hometown Hockey: pic.twitter.com/2z1FKwYxTj
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) July 12, 2022
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:
Message to a younger self. March 8, 2022.
You deserve more than the crumbs. You deserve the whole goddam cake, you deserve the icing, and the cherry on top too.
You were born to break the bias. #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/VZuPQ6Amt9
— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) March 8, 2022
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]