Prior to the 1970s, sports broadcasting was almost completely an exclusive men's only club that featured such legendary sports broadcasters like Howard Cosell, Mel Allen, Harry Caray, Chick Hearn, Vin Scully, and Foster Hewitt. There was not many job opportunities before the late '70s for women to work in the male-dominated world of sports journalism and on-air broadcasting. But there were a few women that paved the road for female sports reporters to be more of a common occurrence than a rarity.
Donna De Varona and Jane Chastain are two pioneers for women in the world of sports broadcasting. They were the first two women to breakthrough and become respected sports broadcasters. Jane Chastain is the first woman to work for a national network, CBS, and do play-by-play in sports while Donna De Varona was 17 years old when she became a sportscaster for ABC's Wide World of Sports.
Not long after women began to break into the sports broadcasting business, did it become very evident that the industry was full of men and needed a break from all the testosterone. So the networks decided to start hiring women but they hired former beauty pageant winners like Phyllis George and Jayne Kennedy, who had very little journalistic experience or talent. They were hired for their appearance, as it would bring in a whole new audience into sports broadcasting.
That has become a very controversial subject in sports journalism for women. It is a tough industry to break into already, for men or women, so the hiring of beautiful women, that are not very good journalists on their own, like Erin Andrews, makes it even harder for women to get a shot at becoming a star.
So we decided to do our part and feature 15 of the lesser known, and extremely talented, female sports reporters that are working around the country. Some of them you might have seen but cannot remember their names, while the others are going to be brand new women that you will be thanking us for later.
15 Ashley Stroehlein, WBTV (Charlotte, NC)
Since August 2014, Ashley Stroehlein has been working for WBTV, in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a sports reporter. She originally began her career with WBTV as an intern and eventually became an editor for WBTV's Bounce before officially becoming a full fledged sports reporter.
She has covered the many different sports teams of Charlotte including the professional teams from the NFL and NBA (Carolina Panthers, and Charlotte Hornets), as well as the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL and the Charlotte 49ers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
She is one of the more talented female sports reporters in the country that has yet to be discovered. But based on what we have seen, it should not be very long before she reaches the major leagues of sports reporting.
14 Britney Eurton, TVG Network
TVG Network is the best place to go if you are a fan of racing horses. If your state allows online gambling, then you can even go to their website and submit all kinds of horse racing bets like the exacta, trifecta, or superfecta and win some serious money. If you do not own a television where you can order the channel, then you can watch it on their website as well.
One of the TVG's biggest on-air talents is the charming Britney Eurton, a Southern California native that has spent her entire life in the Los Angeles area. She even attended the University of Southern California before enrolling in many different Los Angeles area acting schools. She got her big break in 2014 when the TVG Network hired her to be their Southern Cali reporter, covering the race tracks and venues in Los Angeles, San Diego, and all over the bottom half of California.
13 Chelsi McDonald, WHDH (Boston, MA)
Chelsi McDonald is one of the most well-traveled female sports reporter in the country. The stunningly gorgeous Chelsi began her sports broadcasting career down South, in Tallahassee, where she also attended Florida State University. After spending a few years in Florida, she took advantage of an opportunity to move to Cedar Rapids in Iowa for about six months before heading to Savannah, Georgia and finally, or so we thought, landing a spot in New Orleans for WGNO.
Before long, she would end up leaving New Orleans to head up North to work for Boston's WHDH (7News) where she is currently employed. She has covered the Florida State Seminoles, New Orleans Saints, LSU, Tulane, New Orleans Pelicans, New England Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, and a ton of high school football games too. She is building an impressive resume to hopefully one day become ESPN's top female reporter.
12 Laura Rutledge, SEC Network
Before landing her dream job on the SEC Network, Laura Rutledge was winning beauty pageant titles including being named Miss Florida 2012. That led to an appearance in the Miss America Pageant in 2013. She did not win but it helped launch her broadcasting career as it gave her some notoriety before she ever started her career.
Following her graduation from the University of Florida, and after winning Miss Florida, it did not take Laura very long to find a gig and she was hired to work for Fox Sports covering Tampa Bay Rays and San Diego Padres games. Shortly after she was able to show-off her broadcasting abilities, she got a job working for ESPN, in 2014. She has slowly worked her way into a great job that she can hopefully hang onto for quite some time.
11 Annabel Rolley, Golf Channel
Annabel Rolley is a beer-drinkin', selfie-takin', bikini-wearin', putter-swingin, Aussie-speakin' female golfer from down under that doubles up as a sports reporter for the Golf Channel. Golf may be boring so a channel dedicated completely for the sport should be a giant waste of time, right? Not really. Especially now that we know about Annabel Rolley.
By the time she was 17 years old, Annabel was becoming an amateur golfing star in Australia. Before long, she was playing division one golf at the University of Oklahoma. After playing professional golf with the LPGA in Australia, Annabel moved into television and started working for Fox Sports before landing a job with the Golf Channel after being advised by many people to do so.
10 Kristina Fitzpatrick, Fox Sports South
Some of you might know Kristina Fitzpatrick by her maiden name, Akra. Before she married Force Marketing President/CEO, John Fitzpatrick, she earned a reputation as one of the most underrated female sports reporters in the industry under the name Kristina Akra. But that was over two years ago and it seems as if people have forgotten about her but we found her.
She is living in Atlanta now, covering the Atlanta Braves for Fox Sports South and can be seen doing in-game reports on the field and the host of Braves Live. She is also the sports anchor for a few different shows on HLN and CNN including Weekend Express. She is the only woman on this list currently working for CNN.
9 Erin Hawksworth, WJLA (Washington, D.C.)
From Vancouver to Washington D.C., Erin Hawksworth has covered everything from the 2004 Summer Olympics to the Washington Wizards. She has worked for multiple news channels throughout her career including WFXT in Boston, WFAA in Dallas, and KJCT in Grand Junction, Colorado before working for Sportsnet in Canada and also CNN. She is currently the newest sports anchor for the WJLA channel in Washington, D.C.
Erin spent almost 10 years working for various news channels, as their sports anchor, before she went back to Canada to host Sportsnet, which is in Toronto. As her popularity continued to grow, over the years, Erin has become one of the biggest names among female sports reporters in the nation that have yet to become a household name.
8 Kristen Ledlow, NBA TV
Every Saturday evening, Kristen Ledlow, and former NBA All-Star Grant Hill, host NBA Inside Stuff. For those of you who are not aware of what Inside Stuff is, well, it's probably the best NBA television show ever made and has been around since 1990 when Ahmad Rashad hosted it until 2002. It went off the air in 2005 and did not return until 2013 when Ledlow and Hill took over the hosting duties.
Before her role with NBA TV, Kristen was a co-host on The Opening Drive, a radio channel, with Rick Kamla and Randy Cross. She moved on to work for Fox Sports as a field reporter covering SEC and ACC football and basketball games.
But most impressive of all is that she finished in the top 5 at Miss Florida USA and was crowned Miss Capital City USA in 2012. She was able to use that success into a launching pad for her sports broadcasting career.
7 Jordan Whitley, Fox-5 (San Diego, CA)
If you have ever been to San Diego then you already know that the rumors are true, it really does have the perfect weather, year round. There is no other city in the country that will be consistently 70 degrees and sunny, every single day of the year.
Jordan Whitley is a good ole Southern girl from the University of Alabama that took a job working for E! as a news assistant and water girl for Ryan Seacrest. That was when she realized her passion was in sports and she decided to pursue a career in the industry. She worked in Lake Tahoe, Vancouver, Atlanta, and Oregon before finally parking her career in San Diego as Fox 5's sports anchor. She might eventually find herself moving on from San Diego but it will not be easy leaving such a beautiful city.
6 Tracy Wolfson, CBS Sports
At 41 years young, Tracy Wolfson is the veteran of this group and has been a sports reporter, and anchor, since 2002. Over the next two years, the stunningly gorgeous Wolfson became a hot commodity. Everyone wanted to hire her but it was CBS that won the sweepstakes and she immediately became one of the best college football sideline reporters ever.
But Tracy is not just a college football gal, she has done it all. Since 2004, she has worked the U.S. Open and Final Four including working on the floor for this past year's NCAA men's basketball national championship. She has worked Super Bowls, car racing, gymnastics, tennis, rodeo's, and the NBA. She has worked almost everything you can think of, besides the NHL.
After all of that, she remains one of the most talented sports reporters of the past 20 years. Her beauty is simply a bonus.
5 Tiffany Lakosky, Outdoor Channel
Without spending the next five hours explaining why deer hunting is a sport, we are going to simply assume you understand that one of the hardest things you can do is catch a ten-point buck. Deers are tough to catch because they have incredible hearing. So not only do you have to remain quiet, you have to be quick, accurate, and smooth when hunting animals.
Tiffany Lakosky is one of the hosts of the Outdoor Channel's Crush TV. It is a show about deer hunting and features the real life married couple of Tiffany and Lee Lakosky. As a sports television show host, Tiffany is a one-in-a-million type of woman because of her love for sports and hunting combined with her beauty and talented on-screen hosting abilities. The show is a must watch for any hunting fans out there.
4 Charlotte Jackson, Sky Sports
Sky Sports is basically the ESPN of the United Kingdom's satellite pay-TV company, Sky plc. It covers anything from racing to soccer. If it has to do with sports, Sky is going to cover it. They are also going to have the most talented female sports reporters in the industry. Sky Sports is so popular in the U.K. and Ireland that many talented women see it as the major leagues of sports reporting.
Charlotte Jackson, for example, has been a sports reporter since the early part of the 2000s. She got her start in 2004, where she began working on a bunch of different sports websites as a presenter and host. Before long she moved on to Setanta Sports News, in 2007, followed by her start with Sky Sports two years later, where she continues to work today.
3 Kavita Channe, Fox Sports
Kavita Channe is nearly perfect, from top to bottom. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, Kavita Channe loves sports and has worked in the industry since 2011. Oh, and do not forget about that sexy British accent.
Kavita has been considered the "Barbara Walters" of sports reporting recently and has capitalized on her success by working for Fox Sports and hosting her own sports show, which can be watched on YouTube, called 1stDownNDirty.
But just when you think she cannot possibly get any more amazing, we find out she has her own line of bikini's that she calls DiDikini.
2 Olivia Wayne, Sky Sports
Sky Sports News should see an increase in viewership now that we all know about Charlotte Jackson and Olivia Wayne. They already have millions of viewers but a few more never hurts. Olivia looks like she belongs on the cover of a magazine, not behind an anchor's desk reporting about sports. But her passion is sports and she is great at it so why not pursue her dreams, right?
Besides working as a sports reporter for Sky Sports, Olivia Wayne is a qualified ski instructor and aspiring supermodel. She has already been featured in a ton of fashion magazines and has even worked for Vogue TV and once worked for Elle during both New York and London's fashion weeks and also at the British Fashion Awards.
If she decides to give up her career as a sports reporter, she will easily have one as a model but her love for sports is why she continues working in the business and that makes her even cooler in our books.
1 Sara Cardona, ESPN
There is nothing to see here, move along please. Just keep on flying right on through the article and miss out on the beautiful blonde hair, brown eyed smokeshow from Antioquia, Colombia. Although she was born in South America, she now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and has an Instagram profile that is going to break the internet soon.
Aside from her portfolio of endless images of her in bikini's, tank tops, and white dresses, Sara has pictures of her work as a sports reporter, and that is something that many people will not even notice. She is one of the more talented future star reporters that just recently got her big break on ESPN.
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