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Volume 26 No. 5
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MSG Net Shows Dedication To Female Broadcasters On Isles Games

Botterill (l) and Mleczko represent a serious investment by MSG Networks to get women on air
Photo: harvard univ.

MSG Network having three females working on its Islanders broadcasts this season -- studio host Shannon Hogan and reporters AJ Mleczko and Jennifer Botterill -- "feels like a crucial step forward" for women in the industry, as it "quashes any perception that any are simply token hires," according to Emily Kaplan of ESPN.com. Mleczko, who won a Gold Medal in '98 as part of the U.S. women's hockey team, was "hired this season to do about 20 Islanders broadcasts." She "provides analysis pregame and during intermissions, reports from the bench and speaks postgame as well." When Mleczko is "not there, she's replaced" by Botterill, who herself won three Olympic Golds as part of Team Canada. Mleczko said it is "so great" MSG Net created a "two-woman intermission team." Mleczko: "I have to imagine it was deliberate to find two women that we could take on this role." Kaplan noted Botterill "flies in for the games from Toronto," Mleczko "comes in from Boston." That shows a "serious investment and proof that there's room for more than one female voice, especially if the voices are strong." MSG Networks Senior VP/Production & Programming and Exec Producer Jeff Filippi: "They were both good, they add diversity to our air, which is something that we look for, and they really know their stuff. So far, we couldn't be happier." Kaplan noted while Mleczko and Botterill "shoulder most of the spotlight because of their status as high-profile former players," Hogan's role "should not be minimized. Mleczko said, "She's been on the scene a couple years. She doesn't have the background playing we do, but she certainly knows her stuff" (ESPN.com, 11/28).