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Strombo’s talk-show career is dead; long live Strombo’s hockey-announcer career

(Image: Strombo: JMacPherson; Cherry: CBC/Screenshot)

(Image: Strombo: JMacPherson; Cherry: CBC/Screenshot)

Here’s your roundup of all today’s exciting George Stroumboulopoulos news: according to reports out of CBC and Rogers Media, the earringed one will be giving up his talk show, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, and accepting a new gig as the host of Hockey Night in Canada. The move is the first big staffing change to be announced by Rogers since it bought the rights to Canadian NHL broadcasts—including Hockey Night in Canada—for $5.2 billion late last year.

The Canadian Press is reporting that Strombo’s time on HNIC will begin with the next hockey season, in October 2014. His face will be virtually inescapable for Canadian hockey fans: Rogers now has a monopoly on hockey in this country, and so the new host’s duties extend not only to CBC, but also to broadcasts on City, Sportsnet and any other channels or websites that might conceivably contain a picture of a hockey rink. Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and the rest of the gang are said to be retaining their jobs for the time being (the Rogers deal only guarantees the continued existence of HNIC on CBC for four years), but a press release indicates that their roles will be reduced.

Considering the utter failure of his attempted expansion into the U.S. talk-show arena, this may be Strombo’s one realistic shot at advancing his television career. He’ll be the de facto face of Canada’s national sport, and Canada will have to get used to him, if it can.

  • Ron Carroll

    I think GS is a huge talent, and as a Toronto-based TV producer who has worked on lots of US talk shows, I feel that CNN got it wrong last year when they signed him up to do a season of talkers.

    At the time, I thought it was going to be a win-win for George and the network, and I was looked forward to seeing a “bigger” version of him.

    But what happened, I believe, was that they tried to replicate George’s Canadian offering. What they should have done was to surprise us. Re-define him, especially for the US. Add energy and get him out of the studio and on location, like they have with Anthony Bourdain.

    I’m a big CNN fan, but George’s shows on that network always felt flat to me. The line-up of guests didn’t help. Sometimes… dare I say it… there was a lack of entertainment value.

    I don’t know George, but I wish him well as he heads in a new direction. He certainly deserves to be a bigger star on both sides of the border. He’s had some some bad luck. Onwards and Upwards, though!

  • user xyyyz

    Hopefully he won’t have to interact with the deadly dull duo of “Ron and Don”. The latter being a self important bombast and fashion plate of old shower curtains recycled as suits. He’s old and he’s had more than his share of camera time. His time’s up.