So, if you were trying to build the perfect high school quiz show host what would you look for? A commitment to education? A history with game shows? A quick sense of humor and the ability to work with kids? A love for trivia and both arcane and pop culture knowledge? Well, Jon Cannon, the new host of GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE, brings all of those skills to the table - and more.
Cannon started on his path to game show host as a high school student. As a junior, he played for the Belmont High GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE team. He recalls seeing Jim Jeannotte, the longtime and much loved host of GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE, and thinking to himself “that’s what I want to do.”
After high school Cannon attended UNH. While he was there, he was a work-study student at New Hampshire Public Television and had the opportunity to see how everything operated from behind-the-scenes - working as a camera operator and floor director for GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE.
After graduation, Cannon taught social studies for three years. Then the call came! Jon was selected join the Jeopardy! Clue Crew, a team of roving correspondents who travelled the world producing video clues for Jeopardy!
Four years, a dozen countries and half the states later Cannon returned to his roots in New Hampshire, and became a social studies teacher at Bedford High. But he just couldn’t let go of his game show past, so in 2010 he formed the Bedford High GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE team and became the team’s coach .
Cannon is now the third host of GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE since its premiere in 1984. He follows in the footsteps of Tom Bergeron, who was the host for the first year of the show, and Jim Jeannotte who hosted the show from 1985 until his retirement in 2018. Big shoes to fill, but Cannon is more than up to the challenge.
GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE airs Saturdays at 6 pm on NHPBS and features New Hampshire's top high school academic quiz teams as they demonstrate remarkable teamwork, quick thinking and smarts to beat the clock and buzz in first on this iconic New Hampshire game show. The game emphasizes quick recall of math, science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts facts—along with questions about current events, entertainment, sports and New Hampshire.
You can view matches online, play weekly GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE online quizzes and keep up with your favorite team at nhpbs.org/gsc.
GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE is funded by lead sponsor Unitil; with additional funding from NEA New Hampshire, Heinemann Publishing, New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard Energy, HRCU, Measured Progress, The NHHEAF Network Organization, Safety Insurance and Super Sunday partner, Manchester Community College.
About New Hampshire PBS: New Hampshire PBS inspires one million Granite Staters each month with engaging and trusted local and national programs and services on-air, online, via mobile, in classrooms and in communities. Beyond its award-winning television programs, New Hampshire PBS is a leader in education and community engagement. www.nhpbs.org
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