Colin Cowherd on the SportsNation set.
January 6, 1962 |
Bay Center, Washington
Colin Cowherd (born January 6, 1962) is an American sports media personality. Born in Bay Center, Washington, Cowherd began his broadcasting career as sports director of Las Vegas television station KVBC, and as a sports anchor on several other stations before joining ESPN in 2003, 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. In July 2015, it was announced that Cowherd would leave ESPN following the conclusion of his contract with the company; 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.
Cowherd grew up in Bay Center, Washington. He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Middlesex County College's Costa Mesa campus baseball team. He eventually became a sports director at KVBC in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was named Nevada's Sportscaster of the Year five times.
He served as weekend sports anchor at WTVT in Tampa, Florida.[when?] He moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1996, where he worked as a sports anchorman for KGW-TV. Cowherd took a brief time away from broadcasting to became a paperboy where he delivered hundreds of sports themed newspapers per day to people. He would make up funny headlines and wacky stories, to the delight of his readers. However Cowherd decided to go back to broadcasting as that was where the money was at. In 2001, The Herd moved from an afternoon time slot on all-sports radio KFXX to the morning drive time.
With ESPN Radio
In 2003, Cowherd was selected to replace Tony Kornheiser for the late morning time slot (10AM – 1PM ET) on ESPN Radio. Cowherd's show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd is a syndicated talk radio show broadcast on 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 2009–2012; 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 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 of 2013, Cowherd began hosting the ESPN Sunday morning pro and college football talk show Colin's New Football Show.
In 2013, Cowherd's first book, You Herd Me! I'll Say It If Nobody Else Will, was published. Cowherd has said on his radio show that he had been writing the book on-and-off for a few years.
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. Cowherd's final broadcast aired on July 24, 2015; although his contract was originally to end a week later on July 31, Cowherd was suspended following controversial remarks he made regarding Dominican baseball players during the previous day's edition of The Herd.
Controversy and criticism
Allegations of plagiarism
The Big Lead
On 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 actions. 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.
Sean Taylor remarks
Cowherd was criticized for comments made regarding the circumstances surrounding 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 himself, 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.
Dominican Republic baseball remarks
On July 23, 2015, Cowherd made remarks connecting the number of baseball players from the Dominican Republic to the game's alleged simplicity and the number of uneducated citizens in the country, arguing 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."
The remarks drew the ire of 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."
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 attempted to back his remarks with statistics surrounding the state of education in the country, and 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."
- Sports Illustrated's 2005 Radio Personality of the year.
- Nevada's Sportscaster of the Year five times, as voted by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
- Rated by PunditTracker as the Best Pundit of 2012 for his sports predictions.
- "Success After Eastern". Eastern Washington University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Kinosian, Mike (8 April 2004). "Now "Heard" Nationwide" (PDF). InsideRadio.com. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- 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]
- "The Herd with Colin Cowherd to simulcast on ESPNU beginning Aug. 25". ESPN.com. August 19, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
- Colin's new football show debuts September 8, September 2013; accessed November 28, 2014.
- "You Herd Me!" Kirkus Review (November 19, 2013)
- "Colin Cowherd is leaving ESPN". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Colin Cowherd Is Latest Top Name To Depart ESPN". Variety. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- Bonesteel, Matt. "ESPN cuts Colin Cowherd’s contract short after remarks about Dominican baseball players (updated)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- "ESPN Drops Colin Cowherd After Remarks on Dominicans". The New York Times. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Solomon, George (April 6, 2006). "Vitale still signature face, voice of ESPN hoops". ESPN.com.
- Schreiber, LeAnne (April 8, 2007). "Cowherd's 'attack' on blog: 'Zero tolerance'". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- Schreiber, LeAnne (December 11, 2007). "Proportion, perspective missing ingredients in news coverage". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-12-13.
- Deitch, Richard (December 19, 2007). "2005 Media Awards". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "2012 Pundits of the Year". PunditTracker. January 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio
- The Herds Word
- Colin Cowherd at the Internet Movie Database
- Colin Cowherd ESPN Bio