COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In an exciting new chapter at NBC4, the station proudly welcomes Joe Nugent as our new Sports Director, bringing his passion for sports and wealth of experience to our team.

As Nugent joins the NBC4 family, we are also celebrating Jerod Smalley‘s move to anchoring full-time, providing a powerhouse of talent for both our sports and news viewers.

For Nugent, moving to Columbus is more than just a professional step; it is a homecoming. Having spent his childhood in Dublin, Nugent’s ties to Ohio run deep. Back in the ’80s, he had his first taste of the Buckeye spirit as he cheered on Ohio State at the iconic ‘Shoe. Along the way, he crossed paths with legendary WCMH sportscaster Jimmy Crum, met racing star Bobby Rahal at the Memorial Tournament and even watched the Clippers at the original Cooper Stadium. Now, Nugent returns to his Ohio roots, ready to bring his unique perspective and expertise to the local sports scene.

New NBC4 Sports Director Joe Nugent and Anchor Jerod Smalley

Nugent’s journey to NBC4 includes an impressive array of experiences. He previously served as the Sports Director in Omaha, Nebraska, where he covered Big Ten sports. Nugent’s dedication to excellence has been recognized with several regional Emmy and AP awards. He is a proud graduate of Bowling Green State University.

Throughout his career, Nugent has encountered unforgettable moments that have shaped his perspective. From covering a streak of 13 consecutive Ohio State-Michigan games to witnessing the Cavaliers’ triumphant victory in the 2016 NBA Finals and the electrifying 2016 World Series, Nugent’s sports coverage has been remarkable. He also captured the excitement of Nebraska-Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland and chronicled Creighton basketball in the NCAA Tournament.

A true sports enthusiast, Nugent finds ways to connect with sports every single day – whether it’s reporting on athletes and games, staying active himself, tuning into matches, or immersing himself in sports stories.

Beyond his love for sports, Nugent is an adventurer at heart. He enjoys exploring new places and lending a helping hand to others.

As we begin this exciting chapter with Nugent as Sports Director, we also want to express our gratitude and admiration for Jerod Smalley whose role now at the station will be solely dedicated to co-anchoring First at 4 and NBC4 at 5 with Jennifer Bullock.

Smalley has been a vital part of the NBC4 family during his time as Sports Director from 2006 to 2023. His sports coverage has spanned the globe, taking him to events like the 2016 Rio Olympics, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, and World Series. His dedication and expertise have earned him the title of Ohio’s Best Anchor by the Associated Press six times.

Beyond his accolades, Smalley’s impact extends into his personal life as a devoted father to sons Brady and Tyler, both diagnosed with autism. Smalley’s commitment to raising awareness and funds for autism research and education is truly inspiring.

Anchoring NBC4’s “The Autism Puzzle,” Smalley brings compelling local stories to light, highlighting the experiences of those living with autism. His efforts have earned him and the station multiple regional Emmy Awards, a testament to the power of storytelling and advocacy. Smalley’s involvement in organizations like Walk Now For Autism Speaks in Columbus, OCALI, and the OHSAA underscores his dedication to making a positive impact in his community.

As we welcome Nugent and celebrate Smalley’s transition, we look forward to a future filled with exciting sports coverage, powerful storytelling, and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of our viewers.

You can keep up with Nugent’s sports insights and explorations by following him @joenuge or reaching out to him at Stay connected with Smalley as he continues to shine in his new role, follow him on @JerodNBC4 or email him at