There was a time where there were exclusively men in sports broadcasting, news and other television outlets. The idea of including women in television broadcasting, much less sports broadcasting, was something that wasn’t really considered at the time. It was even considered to be ludicrous or foolish for some.
Since that time, many women have gained success from the television broadcasting world. Whether it be sports broadcasting, sideline reporting or hosting postgame panels, female sportscasters have really made their mark in covering sports. And it seems as though more and more female sportscasters join the sports world every year. There are several great female sportscasters in today’s sports landscape.
Female broadcasters have not only paved the way for others to join the media world, but they also have shown the ability to provided fresh insight and perspective to sports. Although we have seen athletes like Cam Newton give a rude response to female reporters’ questions, they have been able to provide new ideas to sports.
Female sportscasters deserve credit for breaking into what was initially solely a man’s world and showing they have the talent to stay there.
15. Talent: Suzy Kolber
Kolber is an NFL sideline reporter who is most recognized for covering Monday Night Football with Michele Tafoya, and the rest of the crew. She joined the MNF crew after the inaugural year in 2006, where she was with the SNF team.
According to the metrous.com, when asked how her experience has been as a woman working in the industry she responded with, “It came naturally to me. I was that one woman in a press conference with 200 male reporters when I first started out, and now the female sportscasters in the media world have become more prevalent. I never felt out of place to ask a question, even if I was the first one to do it.”
14. Looks: Ines Sainz
Let’s be clear here; in no way does the way Ines Sainz dresses justify the alleged harassment she got when she entered the New York Jets locker room several years ago. Yes, she’s known primarily for her looks, but it doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be treated with respect when doing her job.
Having said that, Sainz is in fact mostly known by sports fans due to the tight outfits she wears on the sidelines and she has certainly garnered attention everywhere she’s gone. It’s not that Sainz possesses no talent but viewers tuning in are usually focused on Sainz’s assets and not necessarily the content of what she is saying. Her name still rings bells in people’s heads, primarily due to remembering those glorious times she’s been seen on NFL sidelines.
13. Talent: Erin Andrews
Andrews began her career at ESPN in April 2004 as a reporter for the ESPN Hockey Night. She has not only covered hockey, she has also shown her interest in baseball—reporting for the College World Series and the Little League World Series. Andrews began serving as a sideline reporter for college football and basketball games. In 2005, her job was expanded as she then went on to cover ESPN College Football Primetime and MLB sideline reporting. She also covered ABC’s live coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. These testified to how well rounded indeed her reporting skills were.
For me, Andrews makes the list because yes, she happens to be attractive which has certainly helped raise her profile in the business – heck, she’s the most popular female sportscaster on the planet – but, it was her talent that truly got her to where she is. She wouldn’t have lasted this long in the industry on looks alone.
12. Looks: April Rose
April Rose hasn’t had a lot of full-time sportscasting work in the past few years, but she has worked for Comcast Chicago, covering the Chicago Blackhawks and she has been a guest co-host on the Speed channel. Rose definitely hasn’t grown her profile by providing insightful information on TV. It’s not that she’s looked out of place when appearing on television, but when you take a look at her social media posts, it’s clear she’s grown her profile by flaunting her assets, which are in fact stunning. Her looks have also helped land her roles outside of sportscasting, including a small role in Grown Ups 2 where she plays a stunning dance instructor. You wonder how big a priority sportscasting will be for her going forward.
11. Talent: Molly Qerim
Prior to becoming a moderator and anchor for ESPN, Qerim spent most of her career reporting for the CBS Sports Network where she covered college football, national signing day the NCAA Tournament, the US Open and many major televised events. At the time, she was primarily recognized for conducting interviews with various athletes and celebrities. Qerim received her BA in Communications and Business from the University of Connecticut, while earning her Masters in Broadcast Journalism from Quinnipiac University. She now is the moderator for ESPN’s popular show First Take, a position she has assumed since taking Cari Champion’s place in 2015.
Qerim makes the list here not only because of her ability to tolerate her commentators in Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, but she has also provided some fresh insight on the show, one of which being the recent NFL anthem protests. Qerim also is able to look stunning without seeking out extra attention. She keeps her social media feeds professional and while she has the looks, she doesn’t use them to advance her career.
10. Looks: Charissa Thompson
Thompson’s duties include being a sideline reporter for Fox, as well as for college football and basketball games on Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Net. She also appears on the college football shows Friday Night Tailgate, on Big Ten Network; as well as BCS Breakdown and The BCS Show on FSN. Thompson hosted the Atlantic City lottery show from 2002 to 2006 (she always hummed 1980s cartoons during it) Thompson also competed in trapeze competitions from 2008 to 2012 (she interviewed the trapeze artists while she was competing against them). Between her and Erin Andrews, Fox Sports has a very impressive lineup of well-known sportscasters, but many feel Thompson is mostly at Fox Sports due to her looks.
9. Talent: Cari Champion
Champion started her career as news broadcaster in 2002 for California based “Orange County Newschannel” and there she worked as a solo- cameraman and reporter, all on her own, writes articlebio.com. Champion was named SportsCenter anchor in 2015, and is now the moderator for Coast to Coast with David Lloyd. Prior to joining ESPN, Champion served sometime in the realm of tennis, where she covered multiple matches on the Tennis Channel. She further builded her resume serving as a lifestyle reporter doing features for the outside reporter and stars entertainment.
Overall, there is a lot to like about Champion. And she has clearly made an impact in covering sports. For me, Champion makes the list because of her very calm demeanor, and great personality. I have much enjoyed watching Champion and Lloyd talk about the latest news whether it be the NBA, NFL reports with ESPN analyst Adam Schefter, or talking about the latest trades and acquisitions. She is also very funny and charming.
8. Talent: Michelle Tafoya
Sports audiences are very familiar with Michelle Tafoya, as she’s seen on primetime television every Sunday night during football season, reporting from the sidelines. Tafoya has been in the business for a long time, and she’s earned respect for her talent. She began her career working radio in Minnesota where she primarily covered the Vikings and the women’s Golden Gophers team. She eventually got a big break when landing a job for CBS Sports in 1994 and got more work doing play-by-play for the WNBA. She eventually moved her way over to ABC/ESPN in 2000 and she’s become a very familiar face to football audiences as she was seen on Monday Night Football before making the move to NBC to do Sunday Night Football. Tafoya is one of the pioneers in sportscasting for women and should be commended for what she’s done for her peers.
6. Talent: Kristen Ledlow
We have another happy coincidence here when looks meets talent. Ledlow began her career as an anchor, hosting The Good News Show, while writing for the Tallahassee Quarterback Club and working on radio for ESPN Tallahassee. She was very athletic during her time at North Florida Christian School, running track and field while playing basketball and volleyball. She would later attend Southeastern University in Lakeland Florida where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism, while minoring in Business, and graduated in 2010.
She was hired in 2015 by NBATV as a host for ESPN insider and worked alongside the great Grant Hill for some time. She also had participated in the All Star Celebrity game as well for both the East and West teams. She remains with ESPN as an NBA Insider and covering postgame. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing her interview players like Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and several other players. She makes the list here.
5. Looks: Britt McHenry
Right now, it might be a little conflicting to decide whether Britt McHenry is better known for her looks, or her various controversial opinions. But there’s no doubt that her looks give her a bigger platform. There was of course, the incident a few years ago where she verbally abused a parking lot attendant and in recent months, there have been her controversial comments regarding players who have protested the national anthem. The former ESPN reporter was among the various layoffs by the company earlier in 2017 and many have speculated it was possibly due to her political beliefs. Regardless of where she lands on the spectrum, it’s very likely most were familiar with her work due to her beauty. You wonder where her next full-time gig will be.
4. Talent: Michelle Beadle
As you’ve seen with some entries on this list, good looks can quickly get you a foot in the door on television, but only the truly talented ones stick around. Michelle Beadle may still look great in her 40s, but it’s her talent that has kept her in a high profile job all this time. She started her career as an intern for the San Antonio Spurs and it wasn’t long before she was given an opportunity as a reporter. She eventually moved to the YES network and did some work covering the New Jersey Nets. She’s also done some work outside of sports in brodcasting. Beadle joined ESPN nearly 10 years ago and after a couple of years with NBC, she returned to ESPN in 2014.
3. Looks: Marisol Gonzalez
While most of Gonzalez’s work comes on Deportes in Mexico, she made some waves back at Super Bowl XLV when she showed up at media day wearing a stunning red dress. Besides her sportscasting career, Gonzalez first built her name by competing in a 2003 Miss Universe pageant and even all these years later, she still looks stunning. Gonzalez has taken a bit of a backseat in the sportscasting department, as she recently had a child, but looking at her now as opposed to when she competed in Miss Universe, you can hardly tell the difference.
2. Talent: Renee Young
Yes, Renee Young gets a lot of attention because she’s beautiful, but she’s done many things that many wrestling fans never would have expected out of a cute, blonde announcer. She’s shown just how incredibly knowledgable she is in wrestling, and if you thought mainstream sports were loaded with testosterone and that it was tough for women to catch a break there, you should see what WWE’s past is like. Renee Young was the first female to do regular commentary during matches and some have even clamored for her to take over the no.1 play by play job in the company, something many fans would have scoffed at years ago. Her work has gotten attention from ESPN, as there have been past rumors of the sports juggernaut being interested in recruiting her should she ever leave WWE.
1. Looks: Jimena Sanchez
When you’re nicknamed ‘the Mexican Kim Kardashian’ you can guess which side of the list we’re putting Jimena Sanchez. Looking at her social media profiles, you would never guess Sanchez does any sportscasting. You’d just assume she’s an Instagram model. While Sanchez has been lauded for being very insightful on her Lo Mejor de Fox Sports program, she didn’t get her 3.2 million Instagram followers for her takes on the show. Plenty of international sports fans are familiar with her, even those that don’t speak Spanish. Sanchez often poses in sports merchandise, and has shown she is a big fan of the Oakland Raiders and the Los Angeles Lakers. Most sportscasters tend to avoid showing favouritism, but no one seems to mind when Sanchez does so.
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