The Sports Reporters

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The Sports Reporters
Starring Gary Thorne (1988)
Dick Schaap (1988–2001)
John Saunders (2001–2016)
Mike Lupica (2016–2017)
Country of origin United States
Location(s) Manhattan (1988–2010)
Bristol, Connecticut (2010–2017)
Running time 30 min.
Original network ESPN (1988–2017)
Original release 1988 – May 7, 2017

The Sports Reporters is a sports talk show that aired on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. ET every Sunday morning (and replayed at 10:30 a.m. ET the same day on ESPN2 and 11:30 AM on ESPNews). It was broadcast from Bristol, Connecticut at the main ESPN studios. However, before 1999, it was broadcast from a studio in Manhattan.[1] and from 1999-2010 it was recorded at the ESPN Zone at Times Square in Manhattan before it closed. The format of the show was a roundtable discussion among four sports media personalities, with one regular host and three rotating guests. The show began in 1988, patterned to some extent after the Chicago-based syndicated show called Sportswriters on TV. ESPN Deportes, ESPN Latin America and ESPN Brasil may launch Spanish-language and Portuguese-language versions of the show in the future.

On January 23, 2017, ESPN announced that it would be cancelling the show.[2]

Hosts and panelists[edit]

The Sports Reporters first aired in 1988 and was originally hosted by Gary Thorne, who was replaced by Dick Schaap later that year. Following Schaap's death in 2001, he was replaced by John Saunders, who hosted it until his own death in 2016.

The first year featured four rotating panelists, but since then there have been three rotating panel members.[1] Regular panelists included Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, John Feinstein of the Washington Post, Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, Michael Wilbon also from the Washington Post, Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, William C. Rhoden of The New York Times and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN.

Former panelists included Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports 1, Christine Brennan of USA Today, Tony Kornheiser of The Washington Post, Mike Downey of the Los Angeles Times, Roy S. Johnson of The New York Times and Sports Illustrated, Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News. and Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. As the show was based in New York City and then Bristol, Connecticut, the panelists were usually from the northeastern portion of the United States. For a long time there were no women serving as regular panelists on the show, but in celebration of Title IX one show in 2005 included three female sports journalists. In recent years, Selena Roberts of the New York Times and ESPN's Jemele Hill had made regular appearances on the show.

When Saunders was on assignment or unable to host due to illness, Lupica was usually the designated substitute host and became the permanent host after the death of Saunders in August 2016 until the final episode in May 2017. Jeremy Schaap also guest-hosted on occasion.

September 16, 2001[edit]

The show was expanded to an hour to cover the sports perspective from the September 11th attacks. It also proved to be Dick Schaap's last show as he underwent hip replacement surgery and later died from complications. In fact, he delayed the surgery in order to be on that show.[1]

November 15, 2015[edit]

The show covered the sports perspective from the November 2015 Paris attacks and how the attacks had an impact in the security system in sports facilities.

Death of Saunders[edit]

Host John Saunders died unexpectedly on August 10, 2016 at the age of 61.[3] The August 14 episode, hosted by Mike Lupica, featured tributes to Saunders by the panelists.[4]


After nearly 30 years, the final episode of The Sports Reporters aired on May 7, 2017 with Lupica hosting, and Ryan, Rhoden, and Albom as the panelists. [5]


External links[edit]