Rogers Media confirmed on Monday that George Stroumboulopoulos will be the new host of Hockey Night in Canada next fall just as CBC announced that George Stromboulopoulos Tonight will conclude its run at the end of this season.
Rumours first surfaced Sunday night when TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted that the CBC personality would be named primary host of the flagship hockey series when it moves from CBC to Rogers-owned stations beginning with the 2014-2015 season. Then, news hit that CBC was close to pulling the plug on Strombo’s 10-year-old news program where the network is expected to make other cost-cutting changes.
While most assume Strombo’s first gigs were music-based, 102.1 the Edge (in Toronto) and MuchMusic, he actually got his start as a sports reporter for The Fan 590 (which is now also under Rogers control).
As reported last November, Rogers’ NHL deal includes a sub-licensing arrangement with CBC, which will keep Hockey Night in Canada on the public broadcaster each Saturday night. Strombo will takeover HNIC as lead host, while Ron MacLean will continue to appear with Don Cherry in the Coach’s Corner segments as well as serve as the host of the Hometown Hockey Community Celebration on the new Sunday-night broadcast.
Also joining the new HNIC team are Daren Millard, who will host Sporstnet’s Wednesday night game and Jeff Marek, who will host the Thursday night game.
No word yet on what happens to Strombo’s Sunday night CBC radio show.