Hazel Mae returns to Sportsnet as Connected host

TORONTO — A familiar face is coming home to Sportsnet with the return of sportscaster Hazel Mae, who will anchor the 6 p.m. ET weeknight edition of Sportsnet Connected on Sportsnet East, Ontario and West, beginning Monday, Nov. 14.

The announcement was made earlier this evening on the early edition of Sportsnet Connected.

“Hazel is a tremendous addition to our news team,” said Scott Woodgate, Vice-President of News and Information Programming, Sportsnet. “She’s a talented storyteller and outstanding live broadcaster whose sports knowledge will drive our content on Connected.”

In addition to her role on Sportsnet television, Mae will work across all Sportsnet platforms, including as a guest host on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and Sportsnet 960 The FAN, a regular contributor on Sportsnet magazine and sportsnet.ca.

Mae, a Toronto native, made her broadcasting debut in 2001 at Sportsnet, where she anchored the morning edition of Sportsnetnews for three years, while simultaneously hosting the weekly Toronto Blue Jays magazine show JZone. Since then, Mae has taken her talents south of the border, helping launch MLB Network in 2009. She was part of the ensemble on the Emmy Award-winning signature studio show MLB Tonight, host of the fast-paced highlight program Quick Pitch, and most recently hosted the two-hour preview show The Rundown. Prior to joining MLB Network, Mae worked at the New England Sports Network (NESN), home of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, as lead anchor of the nightly news show Sportsdesk and host of the week-in-review program, The Ultimate Red Sox Show, and the Bruins’ magazine show The Buzz.

“I have truly come full circle by returning to the network that launched my broadcasting career,” said Mae. “My career got off to a great start at Sportsnet and I’m excited to be coming back home. It’s an exciting time at Sportsnet with the recent re-brand and their accessible content on multiple platforms.”

Mae ranks amongst the latest of the industry’s biggest personalities to sign with the Sportsnet brand on multiple platforms, including: Sportsnet magazine columnist and Sportsnet Connected contributor Stephen Brunt, Hockeycentral’s Jeff Marek, Hockeycentral Insider Scott Morrison, Hockeycentral features reporter Christine Simpson, Prime Time Sports co-host and Sportsnet Connected contributor Damien Cox, MLB analyst Gregg Zaun, Prime Time Sports co-host and sportsnet.ca columnist Michael Grange, and sportsnet.ca Baseball Insider Shi Davidi.

A quick Q&A with Hazel about where she has been and, of course, what she thinks about the Red Sox collapse:

SN: Now that you are returning, what have you missed most about Sportsnet?

HM: What I miss most about Sportsnet besides the talented people I worked with earlier in my career, was the comprehensive coverage the network gave to its regional teams.

SN: While hockey is pretty popular in some pockets of the United States, are you looking forward to being back in a coast-to-coast hockey crazy country?

HM: Yes! It was a little more challenging to follow hockey, particularly any of the Canadian teams, on a regular basis.

SN: Working in the sports media industry, do you fill up on sports while you’re away from work or are you more likely to do something else and get away from it all?

HM: I try and fill up on sports while I’m away, not because I’ve been fortunate enough to be in this industry, but because its something I would do any way. I’m a fan just like anyone else who picks up the paper, goes online or tunes in for game highlights. I enjoy it!

SN: During your time away from Sportsnet, you were lucky enough to cover two World Series titles for the Boston Red Sox. Are you surprised with how things went downhill so quickly in September and that Terry Francona and Theo Epstein won’t be back?

HM: I think a lot of people who followed baseball were surprised at the meltdown of the Red Sox in the final month of the season.This team was built to not only get into the post season, but to win it all. Their pitching, which was suppose to be a strong suitfor the club in 2011, let them down, and their offence was inconsistent in the final weeks of the season.

SN: Now that you’re back in Canada, how do you take your coffee at Tim Hortons?

HM: I’m a tea drinker, but I am excited to be able to order an Iced Cap from Timmy’s again!

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