Rachel Nichols (journalist)

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Rachel Nichols
Rachel Michele Alexander

(1973-10-18) October 18, 1973 (age 45)
Other namesRachel Francis
Alma materNorthwestern University
Notable credit(s)
Unguarded with Rachel Nichols
Monday Night Football
Monday Night Countdown
Sunday NFL Countdown
The Jump
Spouse(s)Max Nichols (2001–present)

Rachel Michele Nichols (née Alexander, born October 18, 1973) is a sports journalist who is currently an ESPN television host, sports reporter, and anchor. She currently hosts The Jump, a daily NBA discussion/debate show, weekdays on ESPN.

Early life[edit]

Nichols was born Rachel Michele Alexander, to a Jewish family,[1] the daughter of Jane and Ronald Jacobs,[2] she is a 1991 graduate of Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland[3] and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1995.[4]


Nichols began her career as a sportswriter in the 1990s, writing for the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (1995–1996) and Washington Post (1996–2004), where she covered the NHL's Washington Capitals,[5] 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.[6][7] Nichols was also a correspondent for E:60[8] and worked as the sideline reporter on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts.[9]

She left ESPN for CNN in 2013, and started hosting Unguarded with Rachel Nichols in October of that year; the program was changed from a regular series to occasional special in October 2014.[10] Sports Illustrated has called Nichols "the country's most impactful and prominent female sports journalist."[11] She earned widespread praise for her tough questioning of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal [12] and for confronting boxer Floyd Mayweather on his history of domestic violence.[13]

Nichols returned to ESPN in 2016 and created The Jump, a daily show covering the NBA, which she has co-hosted since,[7][14] she also became a recurring guest-host on Pardon My Take and the Pardon the Interruption (a.k.a. PTI) TV show and podcast (2016–present).[15]


She has been named one of Esquire's "Women We Love"[16] and one of The Hollywood Reporter's "10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media".[17] She was also named to Sports Illustrated's "Twitter 100" in 2013 and 2014[18][19] and to Sports Illustrated "MMQB 100".[20]

Personal life[edit]

Nichols married film and music video director Max Nichols,[21] son of film and stage director Mike Nichols, in a Jewish ceremony in Venice in 2001.[2] Together, they have two children, twin daughters.[22][23]


  1. ^ Tampa Jewish Federation: "Jews in the News: Mike Nichols, Yael Grobglas and Dominic Fumusa" retrieved March 18, 2017. "Max Nichols is a leading music business executive. In 2001, he married Jewish journalist RACHEL ALEXANDER, now 40, in a Jewish rabbinical ceremony in Venice, Italy. Alexander was then a sportswriter for the Washington Post, she took her husband's name and now is a prominent ESPN/CNN TV sportscaster under the name Rachel Nichols."
  2. ^ a b "Weddings; Rachel Alexander, Max Nichols". The New York Times. May 27, 2001. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  3. ^ "Rachel Nichols: WCHS '91 alumni". Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  4. ^ "Rachel Nichols Northwestern alumni". Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Rachel Alexander". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  6. ^ Hiestand, Michael (January 24, 2013). "Rachel Nichols leaving ESPN for CNN". USA Today.
  7. ^ a b Spanberg, Erik (March 25, 2019). "ESPN's Rachel Nichols asks the tough questions". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Rachel Nichols: Reporter and E:60 Correspondent". MediaZone (biography). ESPN. March 7, 2010. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  9. ^ "Anchors and Reporters: Rachel Nichols". CNN. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  10. ^ "'Unguarded with Rachel Nichols' will only air as specials after Turner shakeup". USA Today.
  11. ^ "The Case for ... Rachel Nichols". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Rachel Nichols refused to let Roger Goodell off the hook". USA Today. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  13. ^ "CNN's Rachel Nichols Confronts Floyd Mayweather over Domestic Abuse Charges". Mediaite. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Bechtel, Mark. "How The Jump became TV's smartest basketball show". SI.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  15. ^ "Nichols teams with Post mentors Wilbon, Kornheiser on PTI - ESPN Front Row". July 28, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  16. ^ "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.
  17. ^ "The 10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media: Simmons, Barkley and More". The Hollywood Reporter.
  18. ^ "The Twitter 100". Sports Illustrated. September 25, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  19. ^ "The Twitter 100". Sports Illustrated. November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "The MMQB 100". Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  21. ^ "Helmer has 'Two Night Stand'". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  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. Retrieved December 1, 2017.