George Stroumboulopoulos will anchor Hockey Night in Canada next season, while Coach's Corner will continue with Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, Rogers announced Monday.
It's the first major on-air personnel announcement by Rogers since the Canadian telecom giant bought the NHL's Canadian media rights for the next 12 years, starting next season, at a reported cost of $5.2 billion. As part of a sub-licensing deal, the CBC will continue to broadcast Hockey Night in Canada on Saturdays, with Rogers holding editorial control.
Monday's announcement followed news earlier in the day that Stroumboulopoulos's Gemini Award-winning CBC talk show, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, will cease production this year.
"I knew it was the right time after 10 seasons... to change it up, so I was just looking at a couple of options," Stroumboulopoulos said. "They said 'Do you want to be a part of this' and I said 'Of course.' But it's only really kicked into gear the last little while."
Stroumboulopoulos will also host other Rogers NHL broadcasts across various platforms, along with current Sportsnet personalities Jeff Marek and Daren Millard.
Those three, along with Cherry and MacLean, were introduced at a media conference Monday at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto, where Stroumboulopoulos recalled his days working with Marek at Toronto radio station The Fan 590 (now Sportsnet 590 The Fan).
"We agreed ... that in 20 years, we'd be ready to do something like this, and I'm having this conversation 19½ years later," Stroumboulopoulos said.
Coach's Corner continues
Cherry and MacLean will continue with their popular Coach's Corner segment, which is currently in its 28th season.
“I knew that Rogers would never mess with the greatest segment on television," Cherry said in a release. "We’re going into our 29th season of Coach’s Corner, and we’re stronger than ever.”
During the press conference, Cherry was asked if he had any advice for Stroumboulopoulos.
"Be yourself," Cherry said. "And don't get fired."
Along with Coach's Corner, MacLean will continue to host Hockey Day In Canada, as well as Hometown Hockey Community Celebration on Sundays, Rogers announced.
“I’m thrilled about the way Rogers and Hockey Night in Canada intend to recognize the community in the new deal," MacLean said. "Thirty-five million voices will play a part, and I’m simply honoured to be a part of the team."