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Rachel Nichols returns sports to CNN

There was a time late in the 20th century when CNN’s “Sports Tonight’’ (hosted primarily by Fred Hickman and Nick Charles) was considered an equal, if not superior, alternative to ESPN’s “SportsCenter’’ for news and highlights.

No, really, it’s true, young readers.

But CNN has not had a dedicated sports show since “Sports Tonight” was pre-empted – permanently, as it turned out – during coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Until now! Next Friday, Oct. 25, the network will premiere a weekly program called “Unguarded with Rachel Nichols,’’ in which the former ESPN reporter will, according to a news release, “take viewers beyond the field for candid conversations with some of the world's most extraordinary athletes.’’

CNN hopes the show will appeal both to sports fans and its “general interest audience.’’ That is a delicate balance in an ESPN world, as the original “Sports Tonight’’ learned.


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