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Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Terry Gannon named NBC Sports Group's lead figure skating announce team

by jmaloni


Wed, Oct 22nd 2014 11:55 pm

Trio to make fall debut Sunday at Skate America in Chicago

Three-time U.S. figure skating champion Johnny Weir, 1998 Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, and play-by-play announcer Terry Gannon have been named NBC Sports Group's new lead figure skating broadcast team. Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton, who has provided commentary for NBC Sports Group since 2002, will remain part of the NBC broadcast team as a special contributor at figure skating's biggest events, including the U.S. Championships and the Winter Olympics.

The trio makes its fall debut, joining analyst Tracy Wilson and reporter Andrea Joyce, this Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC's two-hour telecast of the 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America, which is the first competition of the seven-event ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

Weir, Lipinski and Gannon received critical acclaim for their commentary on NBCSN's live figure skating coverage at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which helped the network post the 10 best weekday daytime audiences in its history.

"Johnny, Tara and Terry were breakout TV stars in Sochi," said Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC Olympics. "We're excited that viewers will be treated to this team's informative and entertaining commentary for many years to come, all while looking fabulous."

Weir, Lipinski and Gannon replace NBC Sports Group's previous lead figure skating team of Tom Hammond, Hamilton and Sandra Bezic.

"We thank Tom, Scott and Sandra for their many years of excellent work on Olympic figure skating. They set the bar high," Bell said. "We are looking forward to hearing more of Tom's signature track and field calls at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio."

Most recently, Weir and Lipinski served as fashion experts for NBC Sports Group's coverage of the Kentucky Derby in May and "Access Hollywood's" coverage of the 2014 Academy Awards. Gannon recently handled play-by-play for The Ryder Cup on Golf Channel and NBC, after calling a pair of PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff events and two LPGA Tour majors this summer.

"I am so honored to be a part of the NBC family, and I hope to bring figure skating and the Olympics into America's living rooms for many years to come," Weir said. "I could not have asked for a better first experience than in Sochi and, along with my broadcast partners Tara and Terry, I cannot wait to start a fresh new era of commentary and analysis that will entertain and inform. I love my sport and I can't wait to go on more Olympic journeys!"

"NBC gave us an opportunity of a lifetime in Sochi, I could not be more excited to continue this journey," Lipinski said. "My goal is to continue educating, entertaining and bringing the incredible sport of figure skating to a new generation of fans. It is an honor to be a part of an Olympics. I cannot wait to begin, and I'm lucky to have my talented co-pilots Johnny and Terry by my side. Being a part of this is a combination of all of my favorite things and I look forward to the adventures in the years ahead."

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover skating at the highest level on NBC with partners that are informative, unpredictable and uniquely stylish ... time to upgrade my wardrobe," Gannon said.

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