Cohn in 2015
Long Island, New York, U.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|
|Spouse(s)||Stew Kaufman (1980-2008)|
Early life and education
As a child, Cohn would watch sports 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 Myers. 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 tournament'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.
The network suspended Cohn for saying in a radio interview that left-wing bias at the network had contributed to a loss of subscribers.
Since 2016, she's been co-hosting the Sportscenter from Los Angeles on weekends with Neil Everett.
In mid-July 2018, ESPN issued a press release announcing that Cohn had "signed a new deal to remain with the company for years to come." At the time of signing the new contract, the network's Executive vice-president Norby Williamson noted that in her 26 years with the network, Cohn had "hosted more SportsCenters than anyone else." As part of the new deal, Cohn's role in hockey coverage will be enlarged, with In The Crease, a show that she was the primary host of from its inception in the 2016-17 NHL season's Stanley Cup playoffs, expanding to five nights a week for the entire season, as well as doing hockey-related interviews and features for SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms, in addition to her continuing SportsCenter duties.
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.
Cohn has a daughter named Sammy and a son named Dan. She is Jewish. She is an avid New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Knicks and New York Rangers fan. Linda Cohn got divorced in the year 2008 after her 28 years of marital status with her former husband Stew Kaufman, since 2009, Cohn has been in a relationship with hockey coach Matt Voity.
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