As for the studio host for the UEFA Champions League on Turner Sports, even though Johnson was involved with TNT’s coverage of FIFA World Cup 1990, this observer does NOT believe Turner Sports executives will ask Johnson to take on the additional duties, primarily because Johnson is way too busy with his excellent work on NBA on TNT.
This observer believes that Turner Sports will select a young presenter, likely under the age of 35, with significant on-camera experience with major international soccer as a studio host, news presenter, interviewer, and correspondent. Turner Sports can choose from many candidates, both male and female, many of whom are already based in the U.S.
One very strong candidate for this studio host position was hired by Turner Broadcasting less than two years ago to anchor World Sport on CNN International and CNN Airport Network.
English-American sports TV news presenter Kate Riley moved to Atlanta to join CNN in June 2015, after having worked for Sky Sports, Premier League Productions/IMG Sports Media, and the BBC among other media outlets in the U.K. Riley was born in Bakersfield, California to an English father and an American mother. She spent her teenage years in Ipswich, England; she studied Geography at Leicester University; and she earned her master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales.
Riley also posted a video clip of her ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014 on YouTube. This video clip should give the reader an idea of Riley’s personality.
If Turner Sports were to follow the recent trend of major U.S. sports media outlets hiring young female studio hosts with significant experience covering major international soccer (examples include Rebecca Lowe at NBC Sports, Kate Abdo at FOX Sports, and Kay Murray at beIN SPORTS) then Riley is obviously the odds-on favorite for the role of studio host for UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League coverage for Turner Sports, as Riley is already employed by Turner Broadcasting.
This observer puts the probability of Riley being offered the studio host role by Turner Sports for UEFA Champions League coverage at 80%.
If Riley were indeed given the additional duties, then her selection by Turner Sports executives would certainly generate news headlines.