SBD/March 10, 2014/Media

The CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Expected To Be Named New Host Of "HNIC"

Stroumboulopoulos would be Rogers' first key personnel move since gaining NHL rights
The CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos this week will "be named primary face/host" of Rogers Communications' national NHL package, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. In addition, "Coach's Corner" is "reportedly getting a new 2-yr deal" on the CBC. The net's Ron MacLean will still be involved, but not as the "main man" (, 3/9). In Toronto, Joel Eastwood noted McKenzie "made no direct mention of commentator Don Cherry, who has popularized Coach's Corner since first appearing on it in 1980." Rogers Sportsnet President of Broadcasting Scott Moore has "suggested both Cherry and MacLean will still have a home on the new network" (, 3/9). The CP notes the hiring of Stroumboulopoulos would be the "first major personnel change made by Rogers after acquiring the NHL rights" (CP, 3/9). In Toronto, Rosie DiManno writes if the report is true, it would mean" Stroumboulopoulos all the time and Stroumboulopoulos everywhere -- across all the multi-media platforms, five, six, seven nights a week, on the CBC network, on all the Rogers sports channels, in your head, in your dreams." Hosting "HNIC" is the "biggest hockey broadcast job in the country." While Stroumboulopoulos has "no hockey background," he can "certainly talk the talk." The truth is "HNIC" has for "quite some time been in dire need of a shake-up, a recalibration, a reset." The game "takes care of itself but the packaging has become lame and the cast of surrounding TV characters overly familiar." Like Cherry, the show "looks and acts old and the chatty parts, excluding Coach’s Corner, banal for all the more recent addition of fresher faces" (TORONTO STAR, 3/10).
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