Fox Sports has hired Jimmy Traina from SI to cover sports and pop culture. Traina, who wrote the popular Hot Clicks feature for SI.com, will remain in N.Y. and will start in November. Traina will produce a similar weekday-morning blog, plus podcasts, Fox Sports said. "He was one of the original content curators in the sports blogosphere, focusing on the intersection of sports and pop culture. Our audience craves that kind of content," said Fox Sports Digital Senior VP/Digital Pete Vlastelica (John Ourand, Staff Writer).
NICHOLS BACK: CNN announced that it is going to “launch a half-hour sports program Friday nights starting October 25th” with Turner Sports’ Rachel Nichols as host. VARIETY’s Brian Steinberg noted the program, which is titled “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols” and will air at 10:30pm ET, marks the first time CNN will air a sports-themed program "in more than a decade." Nichols was “hired to work for both CNN and Turner,” and the “intent to launch a CNN program featuring her was unveiled at that time” (VARIETY.com, 10/9).
MORE BOOGITY FOR YOUR BUCK: On Long Island, Josh Stewart reports Fox is not expected to "copy ESPN’s attempt to use different booth announcers" for NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races under the new TV package that begins in '15. Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip said that he "isn’t sure of exactly what Fox will do when Nationwide and Cup events are in different places on the same weekend, but when the two series are together" the plan is already in place. Waltrip: "With all the companion events me, Larry [McReynolds] and Mike [Joy] will be in the booth on Saturday and Sunday. It’s no big deal, we’re already there, we know all the players, we know what’s going on. So, it’s really no big deal to us" (NEWSDAY, 10/10).
FRESH PRINCES OF BELL AIR: The Sabres and Bell TV yesterday announced that Sabres games will now be carried on Bell TV in Southern Ontario. Sabres games, which were previously available on NHL Center Ice, will now be included as part of Bell TV regular programming at no extra cost starting with the Oct. 10 matchup against the Blue Jackets (Sabres). The AP noted Bell "has agreed to broadcast 50 Sabres games this season to its customers in southern Ontario." The Sabres have "spent several years attempting to broaden their exposure into the neighbouring Niagara region, from which the team draws many fans" (AP, 10/9).