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Rachel Nichols Leaves ESPN For CNN, Turner Sports

CNN and Turner Sports are adding ESPN correspondent Rachel Nichols to their ranks. Nichols will anchor a weekend sports program for CNN, and will cover sports as a correspondent for CNN and Turner Sports. Her first assignment will be the Super Bowl next week in New Orleans.

Nichols was a workhouse at ESPN, contributing to “SportsCenter,” “NBA Countdown,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and ESPN’s newsmagazine “E:60.” The new CNN program, which will debut “later this year” also opens up synergistic possibilities for Turner, which has invested heavily in sports programming under David Levy. The company has in the last few years secured NCAA basketball playoff games, and signed new long-term deals with the NBA and MLB.

The move also underscores new CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker‘s desire to diversify news on the network, moving beyond politics and the same handful of stories that get repeated on all the cable channels.

“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 in a statement. “Her arrival, beginning next week, is an important step in expanding the range of programming and storytelling on CNN.”

More information, including comments from Nichols and Levy, after the jump.

RACHEL NICHOLS JOINS CNN AND TURNER SPORTS

Nichols Will Anchor New Weekend CNN Sports Program and Report for Turner Sports Across Television and Digital Platforms

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.”

“Rachel is a high profile talent and skilled reporter and we are proud to have her join the Turner Broadcasting family,” said Levy. “Rachel’s broadcast experience covering a wide variety of assignments including breaking news, major sports events, human interest features and investigative pieces will be a perfect fit across Turner Sports’ many properties and platforms.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the CNN and Turner Sports family,” said Nichols. “I believe in Jeff’s vision for CNN, and have always admired the great work of Turner Sports and what David has done there. I’m looking forward to getting started at the Super Bowl.”

Prior to joining CNN and Turner Sports, Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, working as a correspondent for SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, NBA Countdown and the network’s newsmagazine show, E:60, as well performing sideline duties on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts. Earlier in her career, Nichols worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

A native of Potomac, Maryland, Nichols received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., is an industry leader in televised and multimedia sports content, airing championship-level sporting events on TBS, TNT and truTV, and managing some of the most popular digital sports brands. Turner Sports’ television lineup includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NASCAR and professional golf. The company’s digital portfolio includes Bleacher Report, NCAA.com and March Madness Live, and PGA.com, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile websites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA also jointly manage NBA Digital, which includes NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, NBA Mobile, the NBA Game Time App, NBADLEAGUE.com and WNBA.com.

CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively-syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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