Kathryn Tappen has gone to new heights since leaving NESN in July 2011, ending a five-year stay at the regional network where she built a reputation as an amiable and dedicated professional as a studio host, most notably on Bruins telecasts.
She left for a similar if much higher-profile host role with the NHL Network, and her star has only continued to ascend. She joined NBC Sports in July 2014, where her significant assignments have included hosting its NHL studio programs, serving as the sideline reporter for Notre Dame football games, reporting for “Football Night in America,” and contributing to coverage at the Sochi Olympics and Super Bowl XLIX.
Yet as Tappen’s career has gone to those new heights, she hasn’t actually gone anywhere. She will be in Boston Saturday, working in her usual sideline role for NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Notre Dame-Boston College football game at Fenway Park. But her commute will be considerably shorter than usual. Home base for Tappen remains Charlestown, where she has lived since coming to Boston from Providence in 2006 to join NESN.
“I just love the city. It really just resonated with me, pretty much from the beginning,’’ said Tappen, who grew up in New Jersey. “My assignments are all over the country, and it helps to be very close to Logan Airport, and to be in Connecticut [where NBC Sports Group headquarters are based in Stamford] for studio shows. I can easily hop down on the Amtrak.
“So there’s convenience. But it’s more than that. I will always be a Jersey girl too, but this has felt like home in a lot of ways for a long time now. I never felt like an outsider. People just accepted me as a New Englander.
“Even now, in my neighborhood, I go to the post office, I know everybody. I go to the Whole Foods, I know everybody. The guy behind the fish counter, the meat counter. I love that, that feeling of community makes Boston special.
“Once you’re here and you’ve established yourself, even if you’re not from Boston, they welcome you with open arms. I go to these enormous cities like New York and LA and Chicago and sometimes they feel like enormous cities. I get a small town feel when I’m in Boston. I love that. You can’t put a price on it, you know?”
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