Popular Vance signs off at 'Net

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:13 PM ET

Jody Vance says the time has come for a new adventure.

After more than five years on the news desk, the Vancouver native has decided to leave Rogers Sportsnet to pursue other career opportunities.

It is a decision that is sure to surprise many in the industry.

"I'll miss everyone at Sportsnet, but I know in my heart this is the right decision," Vance told the Sun yesterday morning from her North York home. "I'm hungry for a new challenge. I just needed more."

Vance has two other opportunities she is seriously contemplating at the moment, but her immediate plan is to take the rest of the summer off. She said a return to radio is an option in the future, perhaps even a move back to Vancouver.

"It's always a possibility," said Vance, 37, the first woman to anchor a sportscast on the 'Net. "I'd love to go back there for the (2010) Olympics. If I was single, I'd go back right away. But I'm married now, and I have a fabulous husband (Toronto Blue Jays executive Bart Given) who has a fabulous job."

She's also interested in doing charity work or mentoring young broadcasters -- two passions of hers.

Vance has been contemplating her future for the past year, and recently asked Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth to be let out of her contract early. Her deal was slated to run though March 31, 2006.

Former Sportsnet production boss Scott Moore brought Vance to Toronto in April 2000 to anchor SportsCentral A.M. After tripling the show's ratings, she was promoted to the supper hour SportsCentral (now Sportsnet News) four months later. She's held that post ever since -- sharing it for several months with Jim Van Horne -- and became one of the network's most popular personalities.

"My five-year plan came true in four months, and I did it for five years," said Vance. "I started to wonder 'what's next?' ... Now I want to find out. I don't know what that is yet, but I'm excited about the unknown ... The adventure is just beginning again."

rob.brodie@ott.sunpub.com


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