November 10, 1959 |
Long Island, New York, U.S.
|Notable credit(s)||National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame
Women's Sports Journalism Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation
|Title||SportsCenter Anchor and Entertainment and Sports Programming Network Writer for NY Based Sports|
Early life and education
Cohn wore very large glasses as a child and faced many self-esteem issues. Originally, she turned to sports as a getaway from her loneliness. Cohn would watch the games on TV with her father, who is a huge sports fan. When she was 15, her mother found a hockey league where she could play with boys, although the boys were eight or nine years old. As a teenager, Cohn demonstrated talent at ice hockey as a goaltender, making her high school's boys team. Although she didn’t make her high school hockey team as a junior, she ended up making the team as a senior. After graduating from Newfield High School, Cohn attended SUNY Oswego, where she was the goalie for the women's ice hockey team. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in arts and communications in 1981. Cohn was inducted to the Oswego State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
Cohn debuted as a sports anchor for the Patchogue, New York-based radio station WALK-AM (also WALK-FM) in 1981 and worked there for four years. After leaving that station in 1984, she worked as a sports anchor for four other New York area radio stations until 1987, including a brief stint as an update person at WFAN in New York City.
In 1987, Cohn made sportscasting history by becoming the first full-time U.S. female sports anchor on a national radio network when she was hired by ABC. She anchored WABC TalkRadio from 1987–89. In 1988, Cohn got her first television break, after being hired by what was at the time one of ESPN's top competitors, SportsChannel America. In 1989, she hosted a call-in radio sports show in New York.
Cohn returned to the East Coast in 1992, when she was hired by ESPN to work on SportsCenter. She anchored her first SportsCenter on July 11, 1992 with Chris Meyers. She has also been featured in many of the show's This is SportsCenter commercials. Despite her success, Cohn was almost fired in 1994 because the network argued that she wasn’t showing her love for sports on TV. The company gave her six months to improve and hired a video coach to help her out.
In addition to her work as a sports journalist, Cohn made a name for herself as a prognosticator during the 1997 NCAA basketball tournament. Her bracket that year for ESPN accurately predicted 15th-seeded Coppin State's shocking victory over South Carolina in the first round, to this day one of the greatest upsets in the tourney's history.
In 2005, Cohn signed a contract extension with ESPN, which added play-by-play for WNBA telecasts to her duties. On June 20, 2008, ESPN announced that Cohn would be a regular anchor for the new morning block of SportsCenter, which launched on August 11 that year. She was to have been the co-anchor, alongside Steve Berthiaume, of the first three hours of the block, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET on weekdays. Several weeks later, however, ESPN announced that the new SportsCenter morning block would be scaled back from nine to six hours.
She hosted her 5,000th edition of SportsCenter on February 21, 2016, a record for SportsCenter anchors. Cohn continues to regularly anchor SportsCenter from 1-3 pm eastern Monday through Friday. She is also the host of the podcast "Listen Closely to Linda Cohn".
Cohn has reported, commentated, interviewed, written, and called play-by-play throughout her career at ESPN.
In 2008, Cohn released her memoir, Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys' Club, in which she recounts her passion for sports and her experiences working on SportsCenter. It is a tell-all about her rise to the top of a male-dominated sportscasting world.
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- "Meet the Author: Linda Cohn". YouTube.com. Youtube. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "Oswego Alumni Association Past Inductees - 2006". State University of New York at Oswego. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
- Phan, Khuong (August 27, 2009). "5 Quick Questions with... Linda Cohn". Daily Tailgate. Retrieved 2009-09-16.
- "Linda Cohn bio". ESPN Media Zone. 28 October 2009. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Hall, Andy (28 January 2016). "#LCo5KSC: ESPN's Linda Cohn to Anchor Record 5,000th SportsCenter". Espnmediazone.com. ESPN MediaZone. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- "Linda Cohn on The Dan Patrick Show (Full Interview) 02/22/2016". YouTube.com. Youtube. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Connors, Greg (20 February 2016). "ESPN's Cohn setting longevity mark with 5,000th SportsCenter". The Buffalo News.
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- Best, Neil (February 11, 2016). "Linda Cohn to host a record 5,000th 'SportsCenter' on ESPN". Newsday. Retrieved 2016-02-17.
- "ESPN Podcenter". ESPN.
- Hiestand, Michael (July 2, 2008). "ESPN anchor Cohn's memoir is a refreshing change of pace". USAToday.com. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Evans, Jayda (16 September 2008). "Former Seattle broadcaster Linda Cohn looks back at career in sports". Seattletimes.com. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Lee, Amber (3 April 2014). "25 of the Most Influential Women in Sports". Bleacherreport.com. Bleacher Report Inc. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Ariens, Chris (21 February 2016). "Linda Cohn's 5000th SportsCenter Even Surprises Her". Adweek.com. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Cohn-Head: A No-Holds Barred Account of Breaking into the Boys' Club. Cohn, Linda. Lyons Press. Published: September 2, 2008. Page Accessed September 15, 2016.
- Linda Cohn Profile JWA.org Jewish Women's Archive. www.jwa.org Accessed September 15, 2016.
- Berman, Lazar (3 April 2015). "Jewish NFL star posts Pesach photo". Times of Israel. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Cohn, Linda (December 8, 2006). "Exorcising my Devils demons with Zach Parise". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2008-03-21.