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Behind the Mic: ESPN Signs Dianna Russini to Multi-Year Extension; Turner Sports Completes On-Air Team for Inaugural NHL Season

17/09/2021

Behind the Mic: ESPN Signs Dianna Russini to Multi-Year Extension; Turner Sports Completes On-Air Team for Inaugural NHL Season By SVG Staff

Friday, September 17, 2021 - 7:05 am

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Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week's edition, ESPN re-signs Dianna Russini, Turner Sports wraps up the names for its first-ever NHL season, and more.

ESPN Signs Top NFL Reporter and Host Dianna Russini to Multi-Year Extension

ESPN has signed top NFL reporter and host Dianna Russini to a multi-year extension in advance of her fifth football season with the company. Widely respected throughout the League and among fellow media professionals and NFL fans, Russini will continue to break news and share live reports from stadiums around the League while contributing to ESPN's most prominent platforms year-round. Currently on maternity leave, Russini will return to Sunday NFL Countdown, Fantasy Football Now, SportsCenter, Get Up, and ESPN Radio later this season.

Since joining ESPN's NFL team in 2017, Russini has deftly handled a multi-faceted role breaking news, obtaining key interviews, hosting shows, and providing live reports, analysis and features. Some of her recent, most memorable contributions include reporting from the sidelines in Oakland during the Week 1 Monday Night Football game in 2019, interviewing Titans' head coach Mike Vrabel and All-Pro running back Derrick Henry in advance of last year's AFC Championship, and reporting on how the reigning Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady became a Buccaneer. Additionally, Russini was first to report on two major signings earlier this year: Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans and Trent Williams re-signing with the San Francisco 49ers - which made him the highest-paid offensive lineman in League history.

Dianna is so passionate about covering the NFL, and it shows in every assignment she works on, says Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production. From an All-State athlete in four sports to an All-Star teammate here at ESPN, she is a terrific example of how hard work pays off.

Since joining ESPN in 2015, Russini has hosted and appeared on a number of high-profile studio shows and worked NFL and XFL games for ESPN Radio and ABC, respectively. She also contributed to Monday Night Football's digital pregame show, Monday Tailgate, in 2020.

It's such a special time to be covering the NFL, and there's no better place to be doing it than at ESPN, adds Russini. I'm thrilled to be part of such a talented team-and I'm excited about the years to come.

Earlier in her career, Russini covered news and sports in Seattle, New York City, Westchester, N.Y., Connecticut and Washington, D.C., where she was the lead sports anchor for NBC's WRC-TV.

A New York native raised in Nowood, N.J., Russini was an ABC News intern for Diane Sawyer and WABC, and she played Division 1 soccer at George Mason University. (ESPN)

Turner Sports Bolsters NHL Game and Studio Commentator Team Turner Sports has assembled a deep roster of esteemed analysts, commentators, and reporters in the run up to its inaugural NHL season, which is set to begin Wednesday, Oct. 13, on TNT with a doubleheader featuring the New York Rangers at the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks at the Colorado Avalanche at 10 p.m.

The previously announced commentary duo of Kenny Albert and Eddie Olczyk will be joined by Brendan Burke, who will provide play-by-play throughout the season alongside analyst Darren Pang. Keith Jones will provide ice-level analysis for NHL games on TNT, with Jennifer Botterill, Jackie Redmond, and Tarik El-Bashir contributing to telecasts.

Turner Sports' NHL studio coverage will be hosted by Liam McHugh, alongside a collection of analysts including The Great One Wayne Gretzky, 10-year NHL veteran Anson Carter, three-time Stanley Cup Champion Rick Tocchet, and hockey personality and former AHL & NHL veteran Paul Bissonnette.

This veteran group of announcers, analysts and reporters bring a wealth of on-ice experience and achievements to Turner Sports' NHL coverage including eight Stanley Cups, four Olympic medals, 11 World Championship medals, more than 5,200 pro hockey regular season games played, and more than 5,400 regular season career points.

Additionally, Bleacher Report has tapped Andrew Nasher' Telfer, one of the preeminent hockey content creators in the world, to be a key component of the brand's NHL content strategy. Nasher, as he is more commonly known through his popular hockey-based Twitch and YouTube channels, will star in a series of interactive mid and long-form content offerings for B/R's new NHL-specific content vertical launching later this month, Open Ice', leveraging B/R's access to NHL rights for creative across B/R and House of Highlights social channels and live streams within the B/R App. (Turner Sports)

Milwaukee Bucks Name Lisa Byington as Television Play-By-Play Announcer The Milwaukee Bucks have named Lisa Byington as the team's television play-by-play announcer for games on Bally Sports Wisconsin. In joining the Bucks, Byington becomes the first female full-time TV play-by-play announcer for a major men's professional sports team.

This past March, Byington became the first female play-by-play voice to work the NCAA men's basketball tournament as she called First Round games for CBS and Turner Sports. More recently, Byington worked the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo for NBC Sports as a men's and women's soccer play-by-play announcer and also did play-by-play for the Women's World Cup on FOX in 2019. From 2017-19, Byington worked
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2021/09/17/behind-the-mic-espn-signs-diann...
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