BOSTON – NESN, New England's most watched sports network, announced today that veteran sports broadcaster Dale Arnold has been hired to serve as the network's Boston Bruins studio host. The network has also signed Bruins reporter Naoko Funayama to a contract extension. Arnold will host all of NESN’s pregame, intermission and postgame Bruins coverage, while Funayama will return for her fourth season as the network's rinkside reporter. NESN will drop the puck on the 2011-12 season on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 6:30 PM with WB Mason Bruins Face-Off LIVE before delivering live coverage of the Bruins – Ottawa Senators preseason game from TD Garden.
"Dale is going to be a great addition to our Bruins hockey coverage this season," said Sean McGrail, NESN's president and CEO. "Dale brings authenticity, credibility and a deep passion and knowledge about the league and the Bruins organization. We are very happy to welcome him back to NESN.
"Since joining NESN's Bruins broadcast team in 2008 Naoko has earned the respect of her peers and excelled as a reporter and storyteller," said McGrail. "We look forward to an exciting season covering the defending Stanley Cup Champions and believe we have one of the best broadcast teams in the country."
Arnold is no stranger to NESN's Bruins audience, having previously served as the network's play-by-play voice for 13 seasons (1994-2007), earning two Emmy Awards during that time. The versatile announcer has enjoyed a 20-year career as a sports talk show host at WEEI Sports Radio 93.7 FM/850 AM in Boston. Arnold also holds the distinction as the only person in Boston sports media history to have done play-by-play for all five professional sports teams (Bruins, Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, Revolution). The Maine native and graduate of Bowdoin College began his career as a play-by-play announcer for the Maine Mariners.
Funayama has served as NESN's Bruins reporter for the past 3 seasons. In addition to her work on the network’s Bruins pre-game, intermission and post-game shows, Funayama provides regular reports for NESN Daily. She also served as a freelance Red Sox reporter for NESN during the 2007 season. She came to NESN after spending four years as a sports reporter for WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire where she covered all the Boston sports teams.
The popular broadcast duo of Jack Edwards (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (color analyst) will be back in the NESN booth for their seventh season together. Joining Arnold in the NESN studio will be veteran studio analysts Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson. NESN will also rotate in several additional guest studio analysts during the season.
NESN has consistently been one of the top rated regional sports networks in the country with award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage. The network is delivered to over 4 million homes throughout the six-state New England region and an additional 3.7 million homes nationally as NESN National. NESN.com, the network's online sports news service, is one of the most visited regional sports network websites in the country. NESN also produces a number of distinctive programs under its umbrella Original NESN Entertainment (ONE). NESN is owned by Fenway Sports Group (owners of the Boston Red Sox) and the Boston Bruins.