MSG Networks recently aired a promotional piece that introduced the newest and youngest member of its New York Islanders on-air line-up while also touching on how long it has been since the Islanders last won the Stanley Cup (1983).
In the segment, 29-year-old Shannon Hogan, who became the host and reporter for MSG’s Islanders telecasts before the start of the 2014-’15 season, is walking through an empty Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum alongside Butch Goring, who serves as MSG’s color analyst for Islanders games. Goring, a key player on the Islanders’ Stanley Cup-winning teams, then calls Hogan’s attention to the banners hanging from the Coliseum’s rafters. Soon thereafter, Hogan politely reminds Goring that she was born after those championship seasons.
“I knew the Islanders were on their way up last year,” Hogan, a Huntington resident, said, noting the Islanders would have fared better in the second half of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) 2013-’14 season were it not for team captain John Tavares’ season-ending injury, which occurred during the 2014 Winter Olympics.
“It was easier for me to see some of that because I was in Detroit,” Hogan added. Indeed, prior to joining MSG, Hogan had since 2010 been with Fox Sports Detroit, covering the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, among other teams. Her Detroit gig was preceded by a stint at Salinas, CA’s KION-TV, a CBS affiliate, where she was a weekday news reporter and weekend sports anchor.
Hogan’s game day schedule is intense and can stretch from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., often beginning at the morning skate, where she’ll talk not only to the Islanders players and coaches, but also their rival counterparts. Before each Islanders MSG telecast, and that accounts for the bulk of the 82 games they’ll play in the NHL’s 2014-’15 regular season, Hogan must research, write and then host a pregame show, two intermission reports and conduct post-game interviews.
“It is a busy day, for sure, but my job is to bring information to the viewers,” she stated. Hogan added the final on-air product is also a credit to the hard work of MSG Islander telecast producer Jim Gallagher, director Dave Hagen and associate director Charlie Cucchiara, as well as Islanders play-by-play announcer Howie Rose and the aforementioned Goring.
“New York is the number one television market in the country and MSG Network has a great reputation,” Hogan said, when I asked her whether she had any second thoughts about moving to Long Island. Yet even the most optimistic Islanders fan would have had trouble last year imagining them sitting atop the Metropolitan Division’s standings prior to the NHL All-Star game, which was held on Jan. 25. The Islanders’ stunning on-ice success, an amazing reversal of fortune from 2013-’14’s dismal showing, is reflected in their TV ratings.
“I love how passionate the fans are,” Hogan said, with the high-energy intonation MSG viewers have come to expect when listening to Hogan’s reports. After graduating from high school in Northville, MI, Hogan earned a degree from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, an institution she attended on a swimming scholarship.
“I’m part of a historic year,” Hogan said, alluding to the Islanders’ final season at the Nassau Coliseum. If things keep going the Islanders’ way, she may be chronicling the type of history that results in banners being raised to the rafters.
Mike Barry, vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group, has worked in government and journalism.z