The worst-kept secret in broadcasting is official:
Trenni Kusnierek, who confirmed last week that she is leaving her sideline reporter's job with Fox Sports Wisconsin, will join MLB Network as a reporter.
"It is going to be very difficult to leave," Kusnierek said. "When I got the call that I was chosen for the job, a part of me felt sad because it meant leaving my hometown again. I love, love, love Milwaukee, but I've also always dreamed of working for a network and living in New York. After living in Pittsburgh, I know you can always go home again."
Kusnierek, who graduated from Muskego High School and Marquette University, worked at Channel 58 for two years before accepting a job with Fox Sports Pittsburgh, where she covered the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins from 2002-07.
She returned to Milwaukee last winter to cover the Brewers and Bucks. She also is an occasional blogger for OnMilwaukee.com, a regular contributor to senior editor Drew Olson's radio show, "The D-List," on 540 ESPN and was listed on the "100 Hottest Milwaukeeans" list on the site Tuesday.
MLB Network, which begins broadcasting Jan. 1 from studios in Secaucus, N.J., announced Kusnierek's hiring Wednesday along with studio analysts Harold Reynolds and Al Leiter and reporter Hazel Mae. Former Brewers TV announcer Matt Vasgersian was the first announcer hired by the network and will anchor the signature show "MLB Tonight," which will air 6 p.m. to midnight.
Though she wasn't looking to leave Milwaukee, Kusnierek was intrigued by the opportunity, which she feels may have arisen in part because of the Brewers' success this season.
"Like many people in TV, I work with agents who are always looking at opportunities to further my career," she said. "My reel was sent to MLB Network and the management there seemed to have liked it.
"I think it helped that I worked with the Brewers this summer, an obvious high profile team, so folks there had plenty of opportunities to see my unedited work. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have landed this job had I not come home and worked with the Crew. Having the chance to work with a successful, winning team allowed me a lot of exposure."
Though she has done freelance work in the past for regional football telecasts and the Big Ten Network, Kusnierek expects to curtail her non-baseball work, at least initially.
"I'm a full time employee of MLB Network, so my ability to do freelance work will significantly diminish," she said. "Any opportunities that come my way cannot conflict with the baseball season and will have to be approved by the network. To be honest, I don't really want to take on any extra projects during my first year. Going to the network level will be a daunting challenge and will require all of my focus and energy."
MLB Network, which will launch in 50 million homes in the United States, will feature the "MLB Tonight" studio program, which will feature updates, live look-ins and wrap ups.
The network will install two robotic cameras at each stadium to enhance its studio programming. It also will air one live regular-season game on Thursday or Saturday night but that will be a simulcast version of the a game produced by the local outlets of one of the participating teams. Blackouts will apply in the local market.
MLB Network also will air classic footage as well as hot stove, reality and youth programming along with events like minor-league games and the Caribbean World Series.