Colin Cowherd

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Colin Cowherd
Colin Cowherd Cropped.jpg
Colin Cowherd on the SportsNation set
Birth name Colin Murray Cowherd
Born (1964-01-06) January 6, 1964 (age 52)
Bay Center, Washington
Show The Herd with Colin Cowherd
Station(s) Fox Sports Radio
Fox Sports 1

Colin Murray Cowherd (born January 6, 1964, in Bay Center, Washington) is an American sports media personality. Cowherd began his broadcasting career as sports director of Las Vegas television station KVBC, and as a sports anchor on several other stations before in 2003 joining ESPN, where he hosted a radio show on the ESPN Radio network, and also became one of the original hosts of ESPN's television program SportsNation, as well as Colin's New Football Show. Cowherd is the host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1.

In July 2015, it was announced that Cowherd would leave ESPN following the conclusion of his contract with the company, and in turn it was announced in August 2015 that he would join Fox Sports beginning in September—a deal which includes his radio show moving to Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1, and other appearances as a contributor; while he was to leave at the end of the month, Cowherd was suspended from ESPN on July 24, 2015, following controversial remarks he made on The Herd the previous day.

Career[edit]

Cowherd grew up in Bay Center, Washington.[1] He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the San Diego Padres Double-A affiliate Las Vegas Stars. He eventually became a sports director at KVBC in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was named Nevada's Sportscaster of the Year five times.[2]

He served as weekend sports anchor at WTVT in Tampa, Florida.[when?] In 1996, he moved to Portland, Oregon, where he worked as a sports anchorman for KGW-TV.[3] In 2001, The Herd moved from an afternoon time slot on all-sports radio KFXX to the morning drive time.[4]

With ESPN Radio[edit]

Colin Cowherd during a live broadcast of his radio program on the campus of The University of Iowa in 2010.
Colin Cowherd during a live broadcast of his radio program on the campus of The University of Iowa in 2010
Colin Cowherd during a live broadcast of The Herd at Public House in Chicago, Illinois on July 30, 2014

In 2003, Cowherd was selected to replace Tony Kornheiser for the late-morning time slot (10 AM – 1 PM ET) on ESPN Radio.

Cowherd's show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, is a syndicated talk radio show broadcast on Fox Sports Radio. From 2004 to 2015, it was transmitted to ESPN Radio affiliates throughout the United States and online at ESPNRadio.com. In 2008, the Herd added a simulcast on ESPNU. The show features commentary on sports news, perspective on other news stories, and interviews with popular analysts and sports figures. Although a sports broadcast, he often reflects on personal life and business as it relates to the sports world. Demographics and regional preferences are frequent topics of his program. The majority of his conversations primarily center around the National Football League (NFL), college football, and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

He, Michelle Beadle and later Charissa Thompson co-hosted the TV show SportsNation on ESPN2 from 2009 to 2012; the show debuted on July 6, 2009. SportsNation was designed to take "the pulse" of the nation. Cowherd and Thompson were given two choices to select from and they attempted to determine which choice was the audience's favorite (e.g., Who is more likely to haunt someone when they die, Kobe Bryant or Joe Paterno?). Cowherd announced in September 2012 that he would be leaving the program; his last month as host was December 2012. Marcellus Wiley took over for Cowherd in January 2013. In fall 2013, Cowherd began hosting the ESPN Sunday morning pro and college football talk show Colin's New Football Show.[5]

In 2013, Cowherd's first book, You Herd Me! I'll Say It If Nobody Else Will, was published.[6] Cowherd has said on his radio show that he had been writing the book on-and-off for a few years.

With Fox Sports[edit]

On July 16, 2015, it was announced that Cowherd would leave ESPN. Network president John Skipper stated that Cowherd's presence had been "mutually beneficial", going on to say that "he came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society. Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best." Multiple sources reported that Cowherd was in talks with Fox Sports; Jamie Horowitz, a Fox Sports executive, previously worked for ESPN as a producer for Cowherd.[7][8] Cowherd's final broadcast aired on July 24, 2015; although his contract was originally to end a week later on July 31, Cowherd was let go early following controversial remarks he made regarding Dominican baseball players during the previous day's edition of The Herd.[9][10]

On August 12, 2015, it was officially announced that Cowherd would join Fox Sports on a four-year deal. The Herd moved to Premiere Networks and Fox Sports Radio on September 8, 2015, and its TV simulcast moved to Fox Sports 1. Kristine Leahy is the co-host and newswoman. Cowherd also serves as a contributor to Fox NFL Kickoff.[11]

Controversy and criticism[edit]

The Big Lead[edit]

On the April 5, 2007, edition of The Herd, Cowherd directed his listeners to "blow up" the sports blog The Big Lead by simultaneously visiting its home page. The site was unable to handle the influx in traffic, and the site was knocked offline for approximately 96 hours. ESPN's new Ombudsman, LeAnne Schreiber, wrote an article sharing her negative opinion of Cowherd's gigantic nose. Schreiber contacted Traug Keller, a Senior Vice President at ESPN Radio, and Keller indicated that Cowherd would face no disciplinary action for the stunt, because there had been no policy against such a tactic at the time. To prevent this from happening again, Keller instituted a zero tolerance policy of such activities in the future.[12]

Sean Taylor remarks[edit]

Cowherd was criticized for comments made regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Sean Taylor. On November 28, 2007, one day after Taylor's home invasion murder, Cowherd claimed that Taylor's past had brought this upon him, and that Redskins fans who mourned him were not "grown-ups". He stated about Taylor's turnaround: "Well, yeah, just because you clean the rug doesn't mean you got everything out. Sometimes you've got stains, stuff so deep it never ever leaves." Taylor's death was later found to be the result of a botched robbery, and the robbers hadn't known Taylor was home when they entered.[13]

Dominican Republic baseball remarks[edit]

On July 23, 2015, Cowherd made remarks connecting the number of baseball players from the Dominican Republic to the game's alleged simplicity. The observation that the Dominican Republic "has not been known in my lifetime as having world class academic abilities", because "a lot of those kids come from rough backgrounds and have not had opportunities academically that other kids from other countries have."[9][10]

The remarks drew the ire of some Dominican players, such as José Bautista, and of the MLB Players Association; later that day, USA Today reported that the MLBPA was considering the possibility of "withholding cooperation" with ESPN and Fox over their lack of reaction to the remarks. Major League Baseball also condemned Cowherd for making remarks they felt were "inappropriate, offensive and completely inconsistent with the values of our game."[9][10]

The following day, ESPN announced that it would immediately cut ties with Cowherd in response to the remarks. During what would be the final episode of The Herd, Cowherd presented statistics from several studies regarding the current state of education in the country. He went on to say that "I could've said a third of baseball's talent is being furnished from countries with economic hardships, therefore educational hurdles. For the record, I used the Dominican Republic because they’ve furnished baseball with so many great players."[9] Cowherd apologized, though the apology was not well received.[14][15]

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Success After Eastern". Eastern Washington University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  2. ^ a b Kinosian, Mike (8 April 2004). "Now "Heard" Nationwide" (PDF). InsideRadio.com. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  3. ^ Brenneman, Kristina (September 24, 2000). "News teams rake bright talent in for fall sweeps". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2013. [not in citation given]
  4. ^ "The Herd with Colin Cowherd to simulcast on ESPNU beginning Aug. 25". ESPN.com. August 19, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  5. ^ Colin's new football show debuts September 8, September 2013; accessed November 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "You Herd Me!" Kirkus Review (November 19, 2013)
  7. ^ "Colin Cowherd is leaving ESPN". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Colin Cowherd Is Latest Top Name To Depart ESPN". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d Bonesteel, Matt. "ESPN cuts Colin Cowherd’s contract short after remarks about Dominican baseball players (updated)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c "ESPN Drops Colin Cowherd After Remarks on Dominicans". The New York Times. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Colin Cowherd officially signs with Fox; how the network will use him". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Schreiber, LeAnne (April 8, 2007). "Cowherd's 'attack' on blog: 'Zero tolerance'". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  13. ^ Schreiber, LeAnne (December 11, 2007). "Proportion, perspective missing ingredients in news coverage". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  14. ^ Daniels, Tim (2015-07-24). "Colin Cowherd Apologizes for Remarks Regarding Dominican Baseball Players". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2015-11-01. 
  15. ^ Calcatera, Craig (2015-07-24). "Colin Cowherd makes a lukewarm apology, ESPN releases a lukewarm statement about his comments". NBC Sports. 
  16. ^ Deitch, Richard (December 19, 2007). "2005 Media Awards". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  17. ^ "2012 Pundits of the Year". PunditTracker. January 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-13. 

External links[edit]