NFL Network viewers, get used to hearing the name Nicole Zaloumis – and seeing a great deal of her, as well.
Zaloumis, 32, will be joining the league-run network by way of Comcast SportsNet New England, where she has been hosting weekend editions of the channel’s “SportsNet Central” program. Prior to CSNNE, she had been working for two different Fox Sports properties: FSN Northwest (Seattle) from 2008 to 2010, followed by about a year at Big Ten Network. She moved on to Comcast in January 2011.
And before that, she had worked for another Comcast SportsNet outlet in the Bay Area, where she was born and raised, from 2006 to 2008. Previous sports broadcasting gigs include stops at the NBC affiliate in Medford, Oregon (her first such job), the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, and for the syndicated “George Michael Sports Machine” program. “Although brief, I worked in many different roles and refined my skills as a reporter there,” Zaloumis wrote on her Facebook page about her experience in 2004 working with the late George Michael. (Food for thought: Current ESPN personality Lindsay Czarniak is a protege of Michael; she had been a sports anchor for years at WRC-TV, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C. where “Sports Machine” was based.)
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn, who had broken the news of Zaloumis’ CSNNE departure via Twitter on Thursday, elaborated on the transaction on Friday, describing her new job as “a high-profile gig as an anchor on the NFL Network.” Which basically means that Zaloumis will be NFLN’s new “it” girl.
We all remember who the network’s last “it” girl was. The question is, what’s the latest on Kara Henderson – and does the Zaloumis hire mean that Henderson’s tenure at NFLN is all but over?
At press time, Henderson’s still listed on NFLN’s website, and her Twitter account still lists NFLN as her employer. And just as was the case last month, Kara’s been mum on why she hasn’t been on the air for the last few months. Most of the tweets she sent for the month of June revolved around the NBA playoffs, mostly Game 2 of the NBA Finals which she attended in Oklahoma City last Thursday. She even bumped into Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at that game. “Knee injury? What knee injury,” she tweeted at him this week.
For the record (because we know you’re wondering), Zaloumis’ Twitter account is far less busy than Henderson’s, as Henderson has sent as many tweets this month (five) as Zaloumis has sent for the entire year. That could be due to the fact that Zaloumis is a tad preoccupied, what with raising a two-year-old son, and all.
And as this website points out, Zaloumis “is an avid red carpet aficionado.” So the move to Culver City should be a personal boon for her. Hey, you know how a lot of these cable networks are holding their own awards shows these days? (A trend that may have been sparked by ESPN’s ESPYs?) If NFL Network ever considers holding “The NFL Network Awards,” that just might rock her world.
Anyway, Nicole Zaloumis’ final day at Comcast SportsNet New England is scheduled for this weekend.
Incidentally, the person that she may be replacing in the anchor chair, Kara Henderson, began her television career at New England Sports Network, or NESN, which is a rival of CSNNE.
So Zaloumis could very well already be seated alongside Andrew Siciliano on “Total Access” by the Fourth of July.
In the meantime, Henderson’s Independence Day continues.