Fox Sports News catches Terenzio

Fox Sports News has hired veteran network news producer John Terenzio as senior VP and executive producer, overseeing all editions of the live nightly sports news show that’s compiled by the Fox Sports Net collection of regional sports networks.

In his new post, Terenzio — who logged more than a decade as a producer with ABC News and NBC News, including executive producing the “NBC Nightly News Weekend Edition” — is responsible for the overall production of the Fox Sports News early- and late-evening editions. He will supervise a staff of more than 200 out of offices in Los Angeles.

“John’s strong and dynamic style serve as a perfect complement to (our) one-of-a-kind sports news design,” said Arthur Smith, executive VP of programming and production for Fox Sports Net, in announcing the Terenzio hire.

While Fox Sports News has been on the air with pre-game and post-game coverage of breaking sports news since last November, it was a June 23 deal by Fox/Liberty Networks to purchase a 40% stake in Rainbow Media Holdings, parent of Cablevision, that put the potentially vast reach of the service into clearer focus.

In fact, Terenzio said Monday that it was “the opportunity to become part of an organization that would be going into 55 million to 60 million homes this fall” that proved irresistible, along with the chance to compete against ESPN.

While Fox Sports Net differs from ESPN in that its regional networks work in concert with the news division to present live sports news programming tailored to each individual time zone and market, it’s widely viewed that News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch is anxious to take on the Disney-owned sports service on its own turf.

“On the one hand, (ESPN) has clearly set a standard,” Terenzio said. “But by the same token, this is kind of apples and oranges. We have obviously taken a dramatically different approach with the use of the regional sports networks, and that, quite frankly, made this more appealing for someone like me.”

Besides his work at ABC and NBC, Terenzio was a onetime executive producer of both “A Current Affair” and the short-lived Disney syndicated effort “The Crusaders.” Most recently, he owned and operated Tri-American Prods. Inc. (TAP).

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