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Rachel Nichols Returning To ESPN

Rachel Nichols, a prominent sports journalist who joined Time Warner in early 2013 to work for both Turner Sports and CNN, is leaving the company to rejoin ESPN, where she held forth on programs like “Sports Center,” “NFL Countdown” and “E:60,” according to a person familiar with the situation.

ESPN executives declined to comment and a CNN spokesperson could not be reached for immediate comment. James Andrew Miller, an author of an oral history of the Walt Disney-controlled sports-cable juggernaut, tweeted about Nichols’ new job Monday. Details about her new role at ESPN could not be learned at present.

CNN launched a program featuring Nichols Friday nights starting in October of 2013, marking the first time the Time Warner-owned cable-news outlet had a sports-themed program on its air (A previous sports program, “Sports Tonight,” aired on CNN/SI, a cable network that incorporated both CNN and then-sister outlet Sports Illustrated).

“This isn’t an Xs-and-Os sort of show,” Nichols told Variety in October of 2013. Instead, she expressed a desire to do long-form interviews and host panels that mixed guests from the entertainment world as well as sports figures. The show was often pre-empted and was eventually canceled – about a year later.

During her time at CNN, Nichols drew attention for throwing hard questions at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and boxer Floyd Mayweather. She also has experience in the print world, having worked for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and The Washington Post.

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