This October, it looks like Don Cherry will be forced to learn a doozy of a new name.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie -- who is such a boss he breaks stories about talent on other TV networks -- Canadian talk show host (and recently former CNN employee) George Stroumboulopoulos will become the new primary host of Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet. The network will also retain Don Cherry's services with a new two-year contract. Ron MacLean is expected to stay on, but in a different role.
A source has confirmed the McKenzie report to Awful Announcing that Stroumboulopoulos will be the new host of Hockey Night in Canada.
It was well known in hockey circles that Sportsnet was interested in TSN's hockey host, James Duthie, once they reached a 12-year broadcast rights agreement with the National Hockey League. Duthie turned them down to remain at TSN. Stroumboulopoulos is, by all accounts, one of the bigger names in Canadian broadcasting who had, until now, not been associated with hockey.
That said, he will be far from a neophyte. He began his career as an intern at Toronto's The Fan 590, and I got a ton of tweets affirming his devotion to the Montreal Canadiens once the news broke out. I'm sure he and Grapes will get along like gangbusters!
For Sportsnet, this could be a defining move for how they handle what will be a changing generation of hockey broadcasting. Stroumboulopoulos is fairly young (he'll be 42 when he begins work) and known largely for his work with music. Hockey Night in Canada has tried very hard to get younger and more diverse in it's later years on CBC, and it appears the torch will be passed from Ron MacLean on its new home at Sportsnet.
It's a very intriguing move as Stroumboulopoulos is a fairly household name in Canada. And I know that he's a good interviewer and he likes hockey. Sportsnet needed to make a statement that HNIC wouldn't just be for the diehards, that it would try to make the show bigger than before. This appears to be an attempt at just that.no comments