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Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Nichols’

Illinois Man Cleans Up at Star-Studded CNN Heroes

BanfieldLemonRomansA man who has dedicated his life to cleaning up the Mississippi River is the CNN Hero of the Year. Chad Pregracke of East Moline, Illinois received the honor last night at the event which was recorded for a CNN special to air Sunday, Dec. 1.

TVNewser was on the red carpet, which was swarming with both CNN and entertainment stars.

Piers Morgan told us how refreshing it is to cover everyday heroes vs. A-list celebrities: “They’re real people, and real people are always much more heroic than celebrities in my experience.  They’re not surrounded by entourages, money, or glamor…they have to rely on their own big hearts and selflessness.”

Ashleigh Banfield said “Heroes” proves good news works on TV. “We’ve heard forever good news doesn’t sell… it clearly sells. This has done well for years, people love it…and it feels great.”

HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell told us the inspiration Heroes provides is like therapy for her: “We do see the worst in humanity so often…this is more of a reflection of what humanity really is. This restores my faith in humanity.”

We caught up with CNN anchor Don Lemon and asked him what to expect from his new limited run show at 11pm: “It’s going to be amazing. You’re going to want to watch it,” he said, adding “to have any time slot on CNN is a pretty big accomplishment.”

Rachel Nichols talked about the positive response she’s received on the return of sports to CNN via her show “Unguarded.”

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‘Hard-Nosed’ Sports Reporter, Still Hit On in the Locker Room, Gets CNN Back in the Game

nicholsWomen in sports journalism have come a long way, says CNN’s Rachel Nichols, but they have a long way to go.

“The very fact I’m allowed to go into the locker room after the game, with no one questioning it, shows significant progress,” says Nichols, 40, whose new weekly program, “Unguarded,” debuts Friday at 10:30 p.m. on CNN and CNN International.

On the other hand, athletes’ “attitudes and prejudices still need some work,” Nichols says. “When I meet players for the first time, they can be a bit guarded. Right off the bat, they assume you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s harder to get the story sometimes.”

“Unguarded” will feature a long-form interview with an athlete as well as a panel discussion that will include entertainment stars in addition to jocks. For the opener, Nichols accompanied NBA star Lebron James in August on his annual promotional trip to China.

Sports have been a long time coming to CNN. The network has not had a dedicated sports show since “Sports Tonight,” a traditional daily roundup that began with CNN’s launch in 1980. Pre-empted by 9/11 coverage, it never returned.

Under CNN Worldwide chief Jeff Zucker, “there’s a broadening of what CNN can be,” says Nichols, a veteran of ESPN and The Washington Post. “We’re moving to focus on more than just politics. When you pick up a newspaper, you want to be able to leaf through other sections. My show is part of that.”

Nichols joined CNN in January after a nine-year run at ESPN. Also a reporter for Turner Sports, she covers a wide variety of assignments, from major league baseball to the NBA to the Super Bowl. Also, she will be part of Turner’s Olympics team.

When it comes to football, Nichols acknowledges that women generally report from the sidelines while men occupy the more glamorous booth. (At ESPN, she did the former for “Monday Night Football.”) It’s an underrated gig, she insists.

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CNN Pushes Back Debut Of Weekly Sports Show ‘Unguarded with Rachel Nichols’

Rachel Nichols APOn Friday September 20, CNN was scheduled to debut “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols,” its weekly sports news program anchored by Nichols, who is a correspondent for CNN and Turner Sports’.

The idea was to get the show up and running in time for TBS’ coverage of the MLB playoffs, which would have provided a big sporting event to cover and some corporate synergy to boot.

Well, September 20 came and went, and “Unguarded” was nowhere to be found on CNN.

Now, CNN says that Nichols’ program will debut Friday, October 25 at 10:30 PM. That would be smack dab in the middle of the World Series, but after TBS’ coverage has concluded. In this case, it looks as though Nichols–who has been an important part of TBS’ coverage–just wanted to wait until her job as a reporter died down before taking up shop behind the anchor desk.

CNN Slates Weekly Sports Show ‘Rachel Nichols: Unguarded’ For Friday Nights

CNN has scheduled a weekly half-hour sports show anchored by CNN and Turner Sports correspondent Rachel Nichols.

“Rachel Nichols: Unguarded” will debut Friday, September 20 at 10:30 PM.

Nichols–a longtime reporter for ESPN–was one of CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker‘s first big hires in January, and the channel said at the time that she would end up with her own program. Nichols made her CNN debut in February.

September is shaping up to be an important month for CNN. In addition to Nichols’ new program, the revamped “Crossfire” is set to debut September 16, along with “AC360 Later” in the 10 PM slot on weeknights.

CNN put together a promo touting the launches.

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Andy Scholes Named CNN Sports Correspondent

CNN has named Andy Scholes as a full-time sports correspondent. Scholes has been working part-time at CNN for a few months (and living out of the Omni Hotel, according to an internal email announcing his promotion), covering sports-related stories for the channel.

In his new role he will be covering sports and sports news for CNN, and will also be doing the “Bleacher Report” segment on “New Day.” Before joining CNN, he was a sports anchor and reporter for CW affiliate KDAF in Dallas.

Scholes joins Rachel Nichols on the sports beat. Nichols joined CNN and Turner Sports from ESPN earlier this year, and is the channel’s lead sports reporter.
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CNN Goes All-Out With Homegrown Talent For ‘New Day’ Debut

CNN’s new morning show “New Day” debuted this morning, and there were plenty of familiar faces (and voices).

Christiane Amanpour and John King filed reports, and Nancy Grace–who was for a long time a regular on ABC’s “Good Morning America–delivered some legal analysis. Actor James Earl Jones, who voices the “This is CNN” slogan, also welcomed viewers to the new program by saying “This is ‘New Day,’ with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan and Michaela Pereira.”

Insiders tell us they cannot remember King or Amanpour appearing on the CNN morning show in recent years, at least on any regular basis, but that the new mandate is that the day now starts at 6 AM at CNN, and you can expect to see the network’s biggest guns, including Fareed Zakaria, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper and Rachel Nichols all appearing regularly.

In other words, CNN is making sure all hands are on deck to make sure the show is a success. CNN president Jeff Zucker described what he was looking for in a morning show last month:

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The Ticker: Access, Iraq, Hoda

  • Saturday at 3 PM, CNN and Turner Sports will air a one-hour special tied to the Final Four. “CNN All Access at the Final Four” will be hosted by Rachel Nichols and Reggie Miller. Turner Sports and CBS Sports share the TV rights to the March Madness tourney.

Rachel Nichols Makes CNN Debut

New CNN hire Rachel Nichols, who will be leading the network’s sports coverage and contributing to Turner Sports programming, made her Turner debut yesterday on “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

Nichols said that Morgan’s producer Jonathan Wald had something to do with CNN’s decision to hire her.

“He will wait and see how you do,” Morgan quipped to Nichols. “He will claim all the credit if you are successful, and if not he will have never heard of you.”

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No Game? No Problem! Networks Plan Super Bowl Programming

The Super Bowl is the biggest television event in the United States. 67 million people watched the 2012 election results roll in across 13 networks last November. For comparison: last year’s Super Bowl on NBC averaged over 111 million viewers.

This year the Big Game is on CBS, but that isn’t stopping the other networks from trying to get a piece of the action.

CNN will have a Super Bowl pre-game show on Saturday at 4 PM. “Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special,” will be co-hosted by Turner Sports anchor Ernie Johnson and the newly-hired Rachel Nichols. CNN says that it will add daily sports updates to CNN and HLN, and will use the Bleacher Report brand-name for all sports programming going forward. Bleacher Report was acquired by Turner Sports last year.

NBC’s “Today” is launching a segment this month called “Today’s Field Trips,” which will see Al Roker and Natalie Morales travel to different cities every Friday. Shocker: this Friday is the first edition, and they are going to Baltimore and San Francisco, the home of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. They will be hanging out with NFL fans.

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The Morning Ticker: Fox 5 Shakeup, CNN Sports, CNBC Death

  • WNYW, the local Fox station in New York, is changing up its lineup, returning Greg Kelly to the morning show “Good Day New York.” Former CBS “Early Show” weather anchor Dave Price, who has replaced Kelly on the program, is leaving the station. TVSpy has more.

  • Via J$P, University of Dayton student Steven Wright analyses CNN’s recent decision to replace Sports Illustrated content on CNN.com with news from new Turner property Bleacher Report. CNN just hired ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols to beef up its TV sports reportage.

  • CNBC has slated a new primetime special about the business of death. “Death: It’s a Living” has correspondent Tyler Mathisen examining the economics behind the $17 billion a year industry of death and dying.

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