Cowherd in 2011
|Born||January 6, 1964|
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
|Alma mater||Eastern Washington University|
|Show||The Herd with Colin Cowherd|
|Station(s)||Fox Sports Radio|
Fox Sports 1
Colin Murray Cowherd (born January 6, 1964) 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 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. Cowherd is the host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1. The Herd is FS1's top-rated studio program. He was also a host of Speak For Yourself on FS1.
After Cowherd made a controversial statement about Dominican Republic baseball players, it was announced in July 2015 that Cowherd would leave ESPN following the end of his contract with them. In August 2015, it was revealed that he would join Fox Sports beginning in September—a deal that includes his radio show moving to Fox Sports Radio and Fox Sports 1. While scheduled to leave at the end of the month, Cowherd was suspended from ESPN on July 24, 2015 after those controversial remarks he made on The Herd the previous day.
Early life and career
Cowherd was born in Aberdeen, Washington. His father, Charles, was an optometrist and his British-born mother Patricia (d. 2014) was a housewife who immigrated to the United States at age 14. He has an older sister named Marlene. Cowherd grew up in Grayland, Washington, a small fishing village about 130 miles away from Seattle. His parents divorced while he was young, due to his father's alcoholism, and he and his sister were raised mainly by their mother. Cowherd described himself as a loner during his childhood, spending much time sitting on his roof, listening to baseball games on the radio. Cowherd was roommates with Coach Jim McElwain (current Central Michigan University football head coach) at Eastern Washington.
Cowherd began his career as the play-by-play voice for the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas Stars. He eventually became a sports director at KVBC in Las Vegas, where he was named Nevada's Sportscaster of the Year five times. 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. 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 (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.
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. In 2015, Cowherd released his second book, Raw: My 100%, Grade-A, Unfiltered, Inside Look at Sports.
With Fox Sports
On July 1, 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 scheduled to end a week later on July 31, Cowherd was released earlier following controversial remarks he made regarding Dominican baseball players during the previous day's edition of The Herd.
On August 12, 2015, it was officially announced that Cowherd would join Fox Sports with 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 was the co-host and newswoman. Joy Taylor replaced Leahy in 2018. Cowherd also serves as a contributor to Fox NFL Kickoff. Cowherd was also the co-host on daily sports talk show Speak for Yourself with Cowherd & Whitlock on Fox Sports 1 with Jason Whitlock.
Controversy and criticism
Remarks on professional wrestling
In November 2005, ESPN apologized following a number of complaints about comments made by Cowherd on the death of professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero on the November 13, 2005 edition of The Herd. Cowherd had reportedly commented "who cares that he died" and described his death as "not newsworthy" before speculating on the cause of death. He was later reprimanded by ESPN Radio general manager Bruce Gilbert over his remarks. Cowherd again drew criticism in April 2014 with remarks on the death of The Ultimate Warrior. In March 2018, Cowherd - who had previously referred to professional wrestling fans as "lonely, pathetic Booger Eaters" - attended the taping of an episode of WWE SmackDown.
The Big Lead
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 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 he 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 on 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.
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. 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."
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."
The following day, ESPN announced that it would immediately cut ties with Cowherd in response to the remarks. During the final episode of The Herd, Cowherd presented statistics from several studies regarding the current state of education in the Dominican Republic. 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." Cowherd apologized, though the apology was not well received.
- 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.
- Cowherd, Colin (December 22, 2017). "Sister sends me picture of house I was born in and lived for two weeks (probably getting nostalgic w Xmas). She says "Central Park in Aberdeen, WA. on Lois Lane. It was a cute A frame"pic.twitter.com/pV8vnB9aKu". @ColinCowherd. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- Cowherd, Colin [@ColinCowherd] (May 11, 2014). "My mom passed this year but today is about gratitude not sadness. Thx to all moms. Always" (Tweet). Archived from the original on August 2, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Cowherd, Colin (2016). Raw: My 100% Grade-A, Unfiltered, Inside Look at Sports. Simon & Schuster. pp. 293–294. ISBN 978-1-501-10834-1.
- "Success After Eastern". Eastern Washington University. Archived from the original on September 14, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
- Kinosian, Mike (April 8, 2004). "Now "Heard" Nationwide" (PDF). InsideRadio.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
- Brenneman, Kristina (September 24, 2000). "News teams rake bright talent in for fall sweeps". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved April 30, 2013.[failed verification]
- "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 July 16, 2015.
- "Colin Cowherd Is Latest Top Name To Depart ESPN". Variety. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
- Bonesteel, Matt. "ESPN cuts Colin Cowherd's contract short after remarks about Dominican baseball players (updated)". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "ESPN Drops Colin Cowherd After Remarks on Dominicans". The New York Times. July 24, 2015. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- "Colin Cowherd officially signs with Fox; how the network will use him". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- "[WWE] ESPN Apologizes for Colin Cowherd's Guerrero Comments". Inside Pulse. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- Solomon, George. "Radio aims to be provocative, fair". ESPN. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- "Warrior's Death Is NOT Shocking Wrestlers 'Roll the Dice With Their Lives'". TMZ. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- "Colin Cowherd on Twitter". Twitter.
- Konuwa, Alfred. "FS1's Colin Cowherd Suddenly Changes Tune On WWE As Potential 2019 Fox TV Deal Gains Momentum". Forbes. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- Schreiber, LeAnne (April 8, 2007). "Cowherd's 'attack' on blog: 'Zero tolerance'". ESPN. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
- Schreiber, LeAnne (December 11, 2007). "Proportion, perspective missing ingredients in news coverage". ESPN. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
- Daniels, Tim (July 24, 2015). "Colin Cowherd Apologizes for Remarks Regarding Dominican Baseball Players". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 1, 2015.
- Calcatera, Craig (July 24, 2015). "Colin Cowherd makes a lukewarm apology, ESPN releases a lukewarm statement about his comments". NBC Sports.
- Deitch, Richard (December 19, 2007). "2005 Media Awards". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
- "2012 Pundits of the Year". PunditTracker. January 2013. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
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