The Sports Reporters
|The Sports Reporters|
|Starring||Gary Thorne (1988)
Dick Schaap (1988-2001)
John Saunders (2001-2016)
Mike Lupica (2016; Interim)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location(s)||ESPN Studios Bristol, Connecticut|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Original network||ESPN (1988–present)|
|Original release||1988 – Present|
The Sports Reporters is a sports talk show that airs on ESPN at 9:30 a.m. ET every Sunday morning (and replayed at 10:30 a.m. ET the same day on ESPN2). It is broadcast from Bristol, Connecticut at the main ESPN studios. However, before 1999, it was broadcast from a studio in Manhattan. and from 1999-2010 it was recorded at the ESPN Zone at Times Square in Manhattan before it closed. The format of the show is 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.
Hosts and panelists
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 has been three rotating panel members. Regular panelists include 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 include Jason Whitlock of ESPN, 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 is based in New York City, the panelists are 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 have made regular appearances on the show.
When Saunders was on assignment, Lupica was usually the designated substitute host. Jeremy Schaap also guest-hosted on occasion.
September 16, 2001
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 surgery and later died from complications. In fact, he delayed the surgery in order to be on that show.
November 15, 2015
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
Host John Saunders died on August 10, 2016 at the age of 61. The future of The Sports Reporters has not been determined. The August 14 episode, hosted by Mike Lupica, featured tributes to Saunders by the panelists.
- "Longtime ESPN host John Saunders dead at age 61". ABC News. 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
- Mita, Molly (12 August 2016). "ESPN's "Journalism Showcase" - August 12, 2016 - ESPN Front Row". ESPN Front Row. Retrieved 14 August 2016.