Rachel Nichols ESPN

Rachel Nichols ESPN (photo credit Tabercil)

CNN takes ESPN Anchor

CNN’s new weekend sports show will be hosted by ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. Nichols is leaving the network to host the program which will include covering events for Turner Sports ranging from Major League Baseball to the NBA. She will report for both Turner Sports and CNN, the starting date of the show has not been announced.

“You can characterize this move as an effort to increase sports programming on CNN,” network spokeswoman Christa Robinson said.

The show coincides with the networks attempts to vary the programs that the network offers. The shows are aimed at showing the variety of interests that are held of sporting events.

Speaking just after his hiring was announced, Zucker told reporters that he wanted to “broaden the definition of what news is” on the network. He echoed that theme in a memo to staff about Nichols, writing, “As you know, I am committed to offering a more varied set of programs and reporting on CNN and a new sports beat is an important component of that. My hope is that our air increasingly reflects the broad range of interests that we all share.”

Nichols tweeted that she is grateful for the time she worked at ESPN.

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

LeBron James congratulated Rachel Nichols on twitter. The first assignment after the change of networks is to go to New Orleans for Super Bowl coverage.

James tweeted: “Congrats to @Rachel__Nichols on the new gig!! Best of luck to you”

Rachel Nichols graduated from Northwestern University with a journalism degree. TruTV, TNT, and TBS broadcast events from Turner Sports which is part of the Turner Broadcasting System.

Nichols, who worked at ESPN for nine years, said she “couldn’t be more excited” about working for CNN and Turner Sports. Both are divisions of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

Her first assignment will be the Feb. 3 Super Bowl in New Orleans.