Rachel Nichols (journalist)

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Rachel Nichols
Rachel Michele Alexander

(1973-10-18) October 18, 1973 (age 47)
Other namesRachel Francis
Alma mater Northwestern University
Years active1995–present
Notable credit(s)
Unguarded with Rachel Nichols
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Countdown
Sunday NFL Countdown
The Jump
Spouse(s)Max Nichols (m.2001)

Rachel Michele Nichols (née Alexander, born October 18, 1973) is a sports journalist who is currently a television host for ESPN, a sports reporter, and an anchor. She hosts an NBA discussion show called The Jump ; weekdays on ESPN, it covers news and stories from around the league and features a panel of NBA analysts and players.


Early life

Nichols was born Rachel Michele Alexander. She is a 1991 graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland [1] and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1995. [2]


Nichols began her career as a sports journalist in the 1990s, first writing for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel sports page (1995–1996) before covering the NHL's Washington Capitals for the Washington Post (1996–2004). [3] She joined ESPN in 2004, where she became a regular part of SportsCenter , Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown , as well as a regular on the network's NFL and NBA coverage. [4] [5] Nichols was also a correspondent for E:60 [6] and worked as the sideline reporter on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts. [7]

In 2013, she left ESPN for CNN and began hosting Unguarded with Rachel Nichols in October of that year. The program would change from a regular series to an occasional special by October of the subsequent year. [8] Sports Illustrated has called Nichols "the country's most impactful and prominent female sports journalist." [9] Nichols was widely praised for her tough questioning of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal [10] and likewise for confronting boxer Floyd Mayweather on his history of domestic violence. [11] During this same period, Nichols also worked the sidelines for Turner Sports' NBA on TNT program from 2013–2016, working both regular season and playoff games.

Since her return to ESPN in 2016, she has co-hosted The Jump , a daily discussion show she created covering the NBA. [5] [12] In 2019, she was named host of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC and the NBA Finals on ABC. [13] She also became a recurring guest-host on the podcast Pardon My Take (2016–present), as well as on the TV show Pardon the Interruption. [14]


She has been named one of Esquire's "Women We Love" [15] and one of The Hollywood Reporter 's "10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media". [16] She was also named to Sports Illustrated 's "Twitter 100" in 2013 and 2014 [17] [18] and to Sports Illustrated "MMQB 100". [19]

Personal life

Nichols married film and music video director Max Nichols, [20] son of film and stage director Mike Nichols, in a Jewish ceremony in Venice in 2001. [21] Together, they have two children, twin daughters. [22] [23] She also has one older brother and one younger brother. [24]

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  1. Frank, Noah (November 18, 2016). "Express lane to Bristol: Why so many D.C. sports personalities end up at ESPN". WTOP News.
  2. Moellers, Beth (April 4, 2018). "Co-anchor of NBC's 'TODAY Show,' Host of ESPN's 'The Jump' named 2018 Medill convocation speakers". Northwestern University. Medill School of Journalism.
  3. "Rachel Alexander". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  4. Hiestand, Michael (January 24, 2013). "Rachel Nichols leaving ESPN for CNN". USA Today.
  5. 1 2 Spanberg, Erik (March 25, 2019). "ESPN's Rachel Nichols asks the tough questions". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
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  12. Bechtel, Mark. "How The Jump became TV's smartest basketball show". SI.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  13. "ESPN Reimagines NBA Pregame Coverage with New Strategy" . Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  14. "Nichols teams with Post mentors Wilbon, Kornheiser on PTI - ESPN Front Row". July 28, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  15. "The Esquire Survey: The Sexiest Women on the Planet". Esquire. November 1, 2005. Archived from the original on May 8, 2008. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  16. "The 10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media: Simmons, Barkley and More". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. "The Twitter 100". Sports Illustrated. September 25, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  18. "The Twitter 100". Sports Illustrated. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  19. King, Peter (June 16, 2015). "No. 99: Rachel Nichols - The MMQB 100". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  20. "Helmer has 'Two Night Stand'". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  21. "Weddings; Rachel Alexander, Max Nichols". The New York Times. May 27, 2001. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  22. Rosen, Rick. "Max Nichols, Rachel Nichols Husband: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". heavy. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  23. Shister, Gail. "Hard-Nosed Sports Reporter, Still Hit On in the Locker Room, Gets CNN Back in the Game". TVNewser. Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  24. Karalis, John. "Feb 28- ESPN's Rachel Nichols on working with Pierce & Perk, Tatum's ascension, & being a role model for girls" . Retrieved March 2, 2020.