[01/29/10 - 11:15 AM]
USA Network & Westminster Brings Everyone's Best Friend Back to Madison Square Garden
MSNBC's Tamron Hall will replace Mario Lopez as co-host.

[via press release from USA]


Best in Show to be Crowned at 134th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW Presented by Pedigree�, Live on USA Network February 15 and 16 at 8/7c

MSNBC's Tamron Hall Replaces Mario Lopez as Co-Host

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - January 29, 2010 - USA Network announced today that MSNBC's Tamron Hall will replace Mario Lopez as the co-host of the 134th WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB DOG SHOW, presented by Pedigree. Hall will be co-hosting the event with David Frei in his 21st consecutive year with the show. Also joining the team again this year will be NBC Sports' Tiffany Simons as a sideline reporter. On Monday, February 15, USA will air the first hour of the show at 8pm and will then switch over to CNBC for the 9-11pm ET/PT portion of the broadcast. On Tuesday, February 16, USA will air all three hours, including the crowning of the 2010 Best in Show, from 8-11pm ET/PT.

Lopez, who is stepping down, explains, �It saddens me to say I will not be able to co-host this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts. I wish Tamron, David and all the dogs the best of luck. I will be cheering you all on from LA.�

"I've been a dog lover my entire life,� says Hall. �I currently have two furry 'best friends' in my family, and I can't wait for the show. I'm honored to be given the opportunity to join this team."

Hall anchors MSNBC Live weekday mornings and co-anchors weekday afternoons from 3-4 PM ET. Hall can also be seen on NBC News as a fill-in correspondent and newsreader for �The Today Show� and �Weekend Today.� In addition, Hall served as co-host of a 2009 �Dateline� series titled �You Might Be Rich.� Prior to joining MSNBC in July 2007, Hall spent 10 years at WFLD in Chicago, where she held a number of positions including general assignment reporter, consumer reporter, and most recently, host of the three-hour �Fox News in the Morning� program. She also anchored the weekday mornings and served as a noon anchor. While at WFLD, Hall covered several breaking news stories including one of Amtrak's most devastating accidents in Illinois, and she secured a one-on-one interview with Sen. Barack Obama shortly before he announced his run for the presidency. Hall was nominated for an Emmy for her consumer report segment, �The Bottom Line,� which she launched in 1999. Before joining WFLD, Hall spent four years as a general assignment reporter at KTVT in Dallas. She began her broadcasting career at KBTX in Bryan, Texas, as a general assignment reporter.

This year also introduces three newly recognized breeds to the main event. The Irish Red and White Setter joins the Sporting Group; the Norwegian Buhund and the Pyrenean Shepherd debut in the Herding Group. Despite its name, the Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed, not just a different colored version of the Irish Setter. Bred primarily for the field, they are strong, powerful and athletic, with a keen and intelligent attitude. Once the cherished companion of Vikings, the Norwegian Buhund is a versatile farm dog from Norway that herds livestock, guards property and has been used for hunting game. The Pyrenean Shepherd is also known by its French name, Berger des Pyr�n�es, but fanciers of the breed in America often shorten his name to "Pyr shep."

Entries for the 2010 show totals 2,500 dogs, representing 48 states, the District of Columbia and at least eight foreign countries. The largest entries hail from California (251) and New York (224).

The highest breed entered this year came from the Australian Shepherds with 44; other large entries include Rhodesian Ridgebacks (43), Labrador Retrievers (42), Golden Retrievers (40), Pugs (36), French Bulldogs (36) and German Shorthaired Pointers (36).

There are also 120 entries in Junior Showmanship, where young handlers ages 9-18 compete based only on their handling abilities with their dogs.

This year's Best in Show will be judged by Mr. Elliott Weiss of Eagle, Idaho. He heads a panel of 41 judges from 18 states.

The Westminster Kennel Club is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster's influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all breed, benched dog show held every year at New York's Madison Square Garden. The show is America's second longest continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. For additional information, log on to www.westminsterkennelclub.org.

USA Network is the #1 network in all of basic cable and is seen in over 98.5 million U.S. homes. A division of NBC Universal, USA is the cable television leader in original series and home to the best in blockbuster theatrical films, acquired television series and entertainment events. The award-winning USA website is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [january 2010]  

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