We all know of the big name Athlete that has retired from playing the games we all love, and after figuring out that life doesn’t end at 35 years old, morphs into the media in some way, shape or form……from working a Host desk, Color Commentating on live Sporting events or even working with a Newspaper, Magazine or Website……..but these Businesses would not work so proficiently if not for the Other talented members of the Sports Media that may not get as much recognition or be as popular as their athletic counterparts but are just as interracial if not more important.
These individuals have worked their way up the media ladder, from University or College Educations to interning for some of the founding father’s of the industry……but it’s 2014 and they have made a name for themselves now and can prove it, not only to you the general public but to their Employers and more importantly the Corporations that Advertise, spending the Big Money to keep the Media industry and their individual paychecks churning.
Brand awareness and the monetization of that Brand, starts with the reach of your voice to Audiences Worldwide, Twitter has allowed members of the Sports Media to directly connect with their Fans, Followers and even Detractors.
We take a look at the Top 50 Non-Athlete Sports Media members from a combination of factors including Twitter Followers, General Popularity, Information Source, Importance to the landscape of Sports in general and quite frankly…Entertainment, which is a big reason why we check our Twitter timeline.
The list will be in descending order from 50-1 by the amount of Twitter followers each Sports Media Member has as of March 14th, 2014, We will then include the Net worth’s and Current Salary’s of 10 of the Top 14 (4 UN-available) to show just how much value can be had by being popular in this new age of Social Media.
So without further ado………on with the show!
#50. ROBERT “BOB” McCOWAN, ROGERS SPORTSNET, SN360, SN590FAN
23.0K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 642 TWEETS, @fadoobobcat
Robert “Bob” McCown (born in Columbus, Ohio) is a Canadian Sports talk show personality and the host of a late afternoon/early evening radio talk show called Prime Time Sports. The program is broadcast from the Toronto-based studio of the Fan 590 (the flagship radio station of the Sportsnet Radio Network) and is syndicated nationally in Canada. Since 2004, this radio talk show has also been simulcast on television on Rogers Sportsnet. Since 2009, the show’s live stream has been available online in Canada on the FAN 590 website.
#49. JAIME MAGGIO, TIME WARNER, TWC L.A.
36.7K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 6.8K TWEETS, @JaimeMaggio
Jaime Maggio, a native New Yorker and die-hard New York Giants fan resides in Los Angeles. She hosted a local sports show in Los Angeles before joining Turner Sports. In 2011 she began working the sidelines during the NBA and MLB playoffs. She became a breakout star during her coverage of the 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament. In the fall of 2013, she joined TWC Sportsnet to cover the Los Angeles Lakers.
#48. DON BANKS, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, SI.COM
47.6K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 2.5K TWEETS, @DonBanks
Don Banks joined the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED Group in March 2000 after a distinguished career in newspaper writing. He covers the NFL year-round and writes the popular SNAP JUDGMENTS during the season. Banks also serves as SI.com’s designated mock draft specialist. Not surprisingly, he says the NFL is his favorite sport to cover. “There’s nothing that matches it for the intensity of the fan interest and the once-a-week explosion of drama on game day,” says Banks. “It’s the only sport that makes fans wait so long for their next fix, but that’s part of its allure.”
Before joining SI.com, Banks covered the Minnesota Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press (1999-00) and the Minneapolis Star Tribune (1996-99). He served as the NFL writer and Tampa Bay Bucs beat reporter for the St. Petersburg Times from 1990 to 1996. From 1984 to 1989, Banks spent time as a copy editor on the Times’ main sports desk, and also covered high school sports for theTimes in both St. Petersburg and Tampa. He was honored numerous times during his newspaper career, including two Society of Professional Journalists Minnesota Page One Awards (1998 and 2000), two Associated Press Sports Editors awards for news and investigative reporting (1994 and 1997) and a feature writing award from the Florida Sports Writers Association.
#47. CHAD MILLMAN, ESPN, ESPN.COM, ESPN THE MAGAZINE, BEHIND THE BETS PODCAST, ESPN THE MAGAZINE PODCAST.
52.9K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 3.8K TWEETS, @ChadMillman
Chad Millman has been Editor-In-Chief of ESPN The Magazine at ESPN, Inc., since June 2011. He edits the leading print publication aimed at men ages 18 to 34, with two million subscribers and nearly 16 million total readers. Mr. Millman created the gambling beat for ESPN and contributes weekly podcasts and columns, in addition to making regular TV appearances to discuss the culture of sports betting. He has also written or co-authored seven books. His most recent works include the 2010 national best-sellers The Ones Who Hit the Hardest, about the blood feud between the 1970’s Steelers and Cowboys, written with Shawn Coyne, and the New York Times best-seller They Call Me Baba Booey, with Gary Dell’Abate. In 2008, he penned with Chuck Liddell Iceman: My Fighting Life, which was also a Times best-seller. In 1998, he left the magazine to write The Odds, about a trio of Vegas bookmakers and wiseguys, and to search for lucrative opportunities during the height of the Internet boom.
#46. BRUCE ARTHUR, NATIONAL POST, TSN THE REPORTERS, TSN1050
58.5K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 150K TWEETS, @BruceArthur
Bruce Arthur is a National Post sports columnist, father of three, regular on The Reporters on TSN and TSN Radio 1050. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Bruce joined the Post in 2001 as a sports reporter. After covering the Toronto Raptors, he became the paper’s basketball columnist in 2005, its Toronto columnist in 2007, and its national columnist in 2008. His work currently appears across the Postmedia chain three times a week. Arthur was born in Vancouver, is married, and lives in Toronto.
#45. ADAM SCHEIN, SIRIUSXM RADIO, NFL NETWORK, CBS SPORTS NETWORK, FOX SPORTS.
60.2K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 25.7K TWEETS, @AdamSchein
Adam Schein is a sports talk-show on-air talent who co-hosts Loud Mouths with Chris Carlin on SNY weeknights at 6 EST. Schein’s on-air work has also included a stint as a member of SNY’s Jets Post Game Live and Jets Nation on-air teams. Schein, who has been with SNY since 2006, is also the host of NFL Monday QB on the CBS Sports Network.
Schein and Gannon co-hosted the Sirius Blitz weekdays from 11-3pm EST. On Monday March 11, 2013, Schein left the show to host the midday all-sports talk show on the SiriusXM channel, Mad Dog Radio.
Schein has been with Fox Sports.Com since 2005. He does NFL video picks during the season, files video reports and NFL rants, and writes columns for the website.
Schein graduated from Syracuse University in 1999 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
#44. DAN SHULMAN, ESPN, SUNDAY NIGHT BASEBALL. NCAA COLLEGE BASKETBALL.
68.9K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 2.6K TWEETS, @DShulmanESPN
DAN SHULMAN is an ESPN play-by-play commentator for Major League Baseball and NCAA Men’s College Basketball telecasts. Shulman is the voice of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (since 2011) with analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk.
Shulman began working for ESPN in 1995 and has previously served as the voice of ESPN’sMonday Night Baseball (2008-10) and Wednesday Night Baseball (2002-07), along with ESPN Radio’s MLB postseason (1998-present) and regular-season (2002-07) coverage.
In addition, Shulman calls Saturday Primetime men’s college basketball games alongside analyst Dick Vitale and provides commentary for select games from a variety of conferences.
Prior to his arrival at ESPN, Shulman handled play-by-play calls for the Toronto Blue Jays on The Sports Network (TSN), Canada’s national sports network (1995-2001). He was also play-by-play commentator for TSN’s NBA package of Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies games.
#43. TIM MICALLEF & SID SEIXEIRO, CO-HOSTS OF #TIMANDSID ON SN360 AND SN590 THE FAN.
77.8K TWITTER FOLLOWERS COMBINED, 12.3K TWEETS COMBINED. (36.7K TIM, 41.1K SID, THERE IS ALSO A SHOW ACCT @TIMandSID WHICH HAS 39.8K FOLLOWERS AND 6.1K TWEETS but was not included in the total as the account is operated by the shows producer)
TIM and SID don’t just inform you about sports, they Edutain you!
Since December of 2011 the duo of Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro have been the opinionated and knowledgeable co-hosts of Sportsnet 590 the FAN’s afternoon show, Tim and Sid. The show airs from 1 pm to 4 pm ET on weekdays from the Rogers Studios in Toronto, Canada.
#42. DAN LeBATARD, ESPN, HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE, ESPN.COM, ESPN 790AM RADIO, THE MIAMI HERALD.
104K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 11.7K TWEETS, @LeBATARDSHOW
Dan Le Batard is a Cuban-American newspaper sportswriter, radio host, and television reporter based out of Miami, Florida. He is best known for his work for his hometown paper, the Miami Herald, for whom he has worked since 1990. Since 2004, he has also hosted his own radio show, The Dan Le Batard Show, on ESPN Radio. He is a frequent contributor to several ESPN programs, serving as a regular replacement host for Pardon the Interruption when one of the regular is out. In 2011, he began hosting the ESPN2 show Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable with his father, Gonzalo Le Batard.
#41. RICHARD DEITSCH, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, SI.COM
107K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 76.8K TWEETS, @RichardDeitsch
RICHARD DEITSCH is a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated and SI.com. He has covered five Olympic Games, NCAA championships and Super Bowls, and worked for nearly every division of SI, including the Swimsuit Issue and SI For Women. His specialties include sports media, women’s athletics, and the Olympics. He spent the 2008-09 academic year studying as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where he examined the intersection of 20-somethings and the sports blogosphere.
Deitsch has a B.A. in Communications and Political Science from the University at Buffalo and an M.S. from the journalism school (’96). He has worked at Sports Illustrated since 1997, after serving as an intern for Sports Illustrated for Kids. He is married, lives in Manhattan, and always wishes the best for Buffalo’s snake bitten sports teams.
#40. JON MOROSI, FOX SPORTS,
118K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 20.7K TWEETS, @JonMorosi
JON MOROSI is a National MLB Writer for FOXSports.com. He previously covered baseball for the Detroit Free Press and Seattle Post-Intelligence. He began his journalism career at the Bay City Times in his native Michigan.
#39. CABRAL “CABBIE” RICHARDS, TSN, TSN1050, TSN.CA
138K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 5.8K TWEETS, @CABBIE
Cabral Richards, better known as Cabbie, is a Canadian sports television personality on “SportsCenter” on TSN, a Canadian sports network.
Richards hosts and produces “Cabbie Presents” offers a light-hearted slice of life look at professional athletes, with a sketch-based format to the segment. Richards has interviewed Lebron James and Kobe Bryant together, given Aaron Rodgers a muppet and conversed with Mike Tyson at his home.
Richards uses an unorthodox and animated style in his interviews which endears him to the A-List athletes he’s interviewed.
Originally an intern at The Score (now, SN360), Richards hosted five-minute segments called Cabbie on the Street from 2001 to 2002. After leaving The Score, he joined Sportsnet to produce and host the programs NBAXL and J-Zone, before moving back to The Score in 2005, where he again hosted Cabbie on the Street segments, along with Cabbie Unlimited and Cabbie All Stars. Richard also hosted NBA Court Surfing.
#38. BRIAN WINDHORST, ESPN, ESPN.COM, MIAMI HEAT BEAT.
148K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 8.4K TWEETS, @WindhorstESPN
BRIAN WINDHORST covers the NBA for ESPN.com. His writing has been honored by the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Associated Press. He has also written for The Plain Dealer and The Beacon Journal. He earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University in 2000. He lives in Brook Park, Ohio, and Jupiter, Florida.
#37. BOMANI JONES, ESPN, AROUND THE HORN, HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE.
149K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 215K TWEETS, @Bomani_Jones
BOMANI JONES is a contributor for ESPN, a former contributor for SB Nation.com, and the former host of The Morning Jones on The Score on Sirius Channel 158. He has written on sports, music, culture and politics for years — including three years as contributor and columnist for ESPN.com’s Page 2 — and has been an on-air personality since January 2008 and joined The Score in 2010. While with The Score, he contributed weekly two-minute videos found on TheScore.com and aired on The Score Television Network in Canada. Bomani is also a regular panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” and a recent addition to Dan LeBatards “Highly Questionable”.
Bomani has been featured on several television programs, including a Michael Jackson documentary broadcast all over the world. In 2008, he was prominently featured in the HBO Sports documentary “The Battle for Tobacco Road: Duke vs. Carolina,” and contributed to 2011′s “Runnin’ Rebels,” a documentary on HBO about UNLV basketball. Bomani also served as an adjunct professor at Elon University and Duke University.
#36. RYEN RUSSILLO, ESPN, SVP&RUSSILLO, ESPN.COM
153K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 7.4K TWEETS, @RyenRussillo
RYEN RUSSILLO was named co-host of ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt Show (Now: SVP&RUSSILLO) (1-4 p.m. ET M-F) in May, 2009. Russillo is also host of the network’s College GameDay (noon-7 p.m. Saturdays throughout the football season).
Russillo joined ESPN Radio in February 2006, and has hosted NBA Sunday with Jamal Mashburn, The Baseball Show with Steve Phillips, and the NFL Draft. He has also filled in on talk shows including Tirico and Van Pelt, The Herd(simulcast on ESPNU), and the Doug Gottlieb Show.
Prior to joining ESPN, Russillo was a sports voice in Boston, Mass. where he was a CSN studio host and NBA analyst, and a Sporting News Radio host. Previously, he was play-by-play voice of the Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, the Boston Red Sox Double A team.
Russillo, a native of West Tisbury, Mass., is a 1997 graduate of the University of Vermont.
#35. DOUG GOTTLIEB, CBS SPORTS.
159K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 48.6K TWEETS, @GottliebShow
Douglas Michael Gottlieb is a former NCAA collegiate and professional (USBL)basketball player, as well as a basketball analyst. He now works for CBS Sports after a long tenure with ESPN.
In 2002, Gottlieb co-hosted a midday sports-talk show on an Oklahoma City radio station WWLS 640-AM known locally as “The Sports Animal”. Gottlieb was hired by ESPN Radio in September 2003 as co-host of ESPN Radio’s GameNight. He would then move to host The Pulse weekday evenings from 8 to 10 Eastern before moving to afternoon drive (4 P.M. to 7 P.M. ET). He also served as a college basketball analyst for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, and wrote for espn.com. Gottlieb was also a frequent guest on other ESPN television shows, including SportsCenter and also on College Basketball Gameday Final.
On July 31, 2012, Gottlieb announced that he was leaving ESPN to join CBS. He will host an afternoon show on CBS Sports Radio. He will also serve as a studio and game analyst for CBS Sports’ coverage of regular-season college basketball and joint coverage with Turner Sports of the NCAA basketball tournament.
In 2013 Gottlieb started participating in the CBS Sports Minute on CBS Radio stations throughout the country.
#34. RICK REILLY , ESPN, ESPN.COM
161K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 4.8K TWEETS, @ReillyRick
Eleven-time National Sportswriter of the Year RICK REILLY is a front-page columnist for ESPN.com. He also delivers human-interest features for ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown and essays for SportsCenter.
Reilly joined ESPN in 2008. His “Life of Reilly” weekly column for ESPN.com reflects his unique, breezy, hilarious style. While on-site for ESPN’s Monday Night Football games, Reilly appears on both the pre-game Countdown and post-game SportsCenter alongside Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis and Steve Young. Similar to his columns, Reilly offers thoughtful MNF-themed weekly television features for Countdown.
Reilly, who has made appearances on PTI and various ESPN radio programs, is also an essayist forSportsCenter and a contributor to the company’s coverage of golf majors and other championship events, including the Ryder Cup, NBA Finals, NCAA Final Four, Super Bowl and BCS Championship.
#33. ALBERT BREER, NFL NETWORK.
185K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 51.6K TWEETS, @AlbertBreer
ALBERT BREER has covered the NFL since 2005, including two stints in the New England area as the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Herald and the national NFL writer for the Boston Globe. He also was the Cowboys beat writer for the Dallas Morning News and an NFL writer for Sporting News. In addition to writing for NFL.com, Breer is a reporter on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” and other shows.
#32. MIKE TRUDELL, TIME WARNER TWC L.A. / KCAL9
186K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 40.2K TWEETS, @LakersReporter
A regular presence around the Lakers since their return to glory in the 2008-09 season, MIKE TRUDELL will be the team’s sideline reporter for Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s debut season.
Trudell will work all TWC SportsNet games, home and away. He was the Lakers’ sideline reporter last season for road games on KCAL/9 while covering the team as the Lakers.com reporter. TWC SportsNet, which starts up the evening of Oct. 1 with a launch event, and the Lakers were attracted to Trudell’s knowledge and established relationships within the team as the new network intends to offer deeper content and more behind-the scenes storytelling.
Trudell, 30, is in his seventh year covering the NBA and graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2004. He will maintain his role with Lakers.com, doing various writing, audio and video work
#31. JENN BROWN, NFL NETWORK.
192K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 10K TWEETS, @JennBrown
JENN BROWN is two time Emmy Award winning sports broadcaster. She currently is a host for the NFL Network. You can see her Tuesday nights hosting A Football Life: Backstory as well on NFL Scoreboard on Sundays.
The summer of 2013, Jenn co-hosted NBC’s hit summer primetime show American Ninja Warrior.
Prior to working with NFL Network, Brown spent 8 years as a reporter and host for ESPN. She spent 3 years reporting from the college football sidelines on ESPN’s Thursday Night Primetime Game along with ABC and ESPN’s Saturday Noon Package. She also served as a reporter for the College World Series, Little League World Series, Summer and Winter X Games, NFL Draft, National Signing Day and the ESPYS.
Prior to joining ESPN full-time, Jenn was the first-ever female correspondent on Showtime Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NFL also working on it’s boxing and mixed martial arts programing from 2008-2010. In the summer of 2009, Jenn co-hosted ABC’s prime-time show The Superstars where athletes and celebrities paired up and competed against each other in various sport competitions. In 2008, Jenn was a host at E! Entertainment working on their daily online news show E! News Now. In her role at E!, Jenn also appeared as an entertainment correspondent on CNN Showbiz Tonight along with Chelsea Lately.
#30. JASON WHITLOCK, ESPN, ESPN.COM
195K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 26.1K TWEETS, @WhitlockJason
Jason Lee Whitlock (born April 27, 1967, in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a sportswriter for ESPN, and a former columnist at the Kansas City Star, AOL Sports, and Foxsports.com, as well as a radio personality for WHB and KCSP sports stations in the Kansas City area.
Originally, Whitlock was expected to be an integral part of the launching of the Fox Sports 1 sports television channel in August 2013, but ultimately came to feel that that television work would come at the expense of his writing. Therefore, upon meeting with ESPN President John Skipper, Whitlock decided to leave Fox Sports and accept Skipper’s offer for Whitlock return to ESPN.
He has also been published in Vibe Magazine, Playboy Magazine and The Sporting News. In the June 2008 issue of Playboy , Whitlock wrote a 5,000-word column questioning American’s incarceration and drug-war policies. Playboy headlined the column “The Black KKK,” which provoked Whitlock into writing two columns—one in the Kansas City Star and another on Foxsports.com—criticizing Playboy editorial director Chris Napolitano for the misleading and inflammatory headline.
He was the host of a morning-drive talk show, “Jason Whitlock’s Neighborhood” on Sports Radio 810 WHB
Whitlock was the celebrity spokesman for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.
#29. CHARISSA THOMPSON, FOX SPORTS 1.
218K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 7.2K TWEETS, @CharissaT
CHARISSA THOMPSON is a Sports & Entertainment host and reporter based in Los Angeles.
Charissa Thompson knew she wanted to be an on-air personality at the age of 12 and while some might have thought it was a pipe dream, the confident kid who grew up in Seattle, is now living the dream.
Charissa Thompson, who rejoined FOX Sports – she was a co-host of FOX Sports Net’s Best Damn Sports Show Period and several others on the network until 2009 – from ESPN after serving as the co-host of SportsNation following Michelle Beadle’s exit. The 31-year-old is a Seattle native (and Seahawks fan).
From the grandest stages in sports to the red carpet of Hollywood, Thompson’s versatility was evident from her first day on the air. She’s covered everything from Super Bowls to World Premieres and her easy-going style and fun approach have put athletes and entertainers alike at ease. But what’s earned the respect of not only the people she interviews – but also her bosses – is the preparation and thought she puts into every assignment.
For four years she was a staple at Fox Sports, doing everything from work the sidelines for Fox NFL Sunday and BCS Bowl Games to co-hosting and being a correspondent for the Best Damn Sports Show Period, where she has covered major sporting events, including two MLB All Star Game Red Carpet Shows.
#28. ERNIE JOHNSON, TURNER SPORTS, TNT.
245K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 2.5K TWEETS, @TurnerSportsEJ
Two-time Emmy award-winner ERNIE JOHNSON is in his 22nd year as the studio host for Turner’s NBA telecasts. He hosts TNT’s Emmy award-winning Inside the NBA studio show with analysts Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.
Johnson is also the studio host for NBA TV’s acclaimed Fan Night every Tuesday, working alongside analysts Greg Anthony and Chris Webber. Each week, fans vote on NBA.com for the NBA matchup they most want to see televised on the network the following Tuesday.
During his tenure at Turner, Johnson has served as a game analyst, play-by-play announcer, and studio host for the network’s coverage of Major League Baseball, NFL, the PGA, the British Open, college football, the Wimbledon Championships, the Winter Olympics and the Goodwill Games. He received Emmy Awards as best studio host/personality in 2001 and 2006, and Inside the NBA has received three Emmy Awards as outstanding daily studio show.
#27. DAN PATRICK, NBC SPORTS.
265K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 8.5K TWEETS, @dpshow
Co-host of NBC’s Football Night In America and host of The Dan Patrick Show and Co-host, DAN PATRICK is regarded as one of the most accomplished, popular and versatile commentators in sports media. In addition to his daily studio show and NBC’s Football Night In America, Patrick has handled daytime hosting duties on NBC and NBCSN for the past three Olympics, including the 2014 Sochi Games in February.
Patrick hosts The Dan Patrick Show, a daily, nationally-syndicated radio program that is simulcast as a television program on NBCSN and streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for digital, mobile and tablets. In 2013, Patrick was nominated for a Sports Emmy Award for “Outstanding Studio Host” for his work on The Dan Patrick Show and as co-host of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports. Patrick also hosts the Emmy-nominated NFL Turning Point on NBCSN.
Patrick was an anchor on ESPN’s SportsCenter from 1989 to 2006. While at ESPN, he reported from major events including the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Final Four. He hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio from 1999 to August of 2007 and wrote for ESPN The Magazine’s most popular page that featured interviews with athletes. In 2000, Patrick released a book entitled Outtakes, based on the magazine column. Prior to working with ESPN, Patrick was a sports anchor and reporter for CNN from 1983 to 1989.
#26. IAN RAPOPORT, NFL NETWORK, NFL.COM
306K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 88K TWEETS, @Rapsheet
NFL Media insider IAN RAPOPORT has covered the league since 2009, previously serving as Patriots beat reporter for the Boston Herald for three seasons. Now a Dallas-based reporter, he also has covered the Alabama Crimson Tide for the Birmingham News and Mississippi State for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.
#25. GRANT WAHL, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, SOCCER/FUTBOL GURU.
339K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 30.5 TWEETS, @GrantWahl
Grant Wahl is the leading soccer journalist in the United States. Comfortable writing longform and shortform and appearing in front of the camera, Wahl joined SPORTS ILLUSTRATED in November 1996 as a reporter and was promoted to his current position of senior writer in October 2000. He began his journalism career as an intern with the Miami Herald in 1996.
Wahl has covered seven World Cups (four men’s, three women’s) and four Olympics for SI. Some of his most notable stories include The World’s Team (about FC Barcelona) and lengthy stories on David Beckham, Alex Morgan, José Mourinho, Didier Drogba, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Wahl first won critical praise for his work (with Jon Wertheim) on the 1998 cover story Where’s Daddy?, which documented the staggering number of out-of-wedlock children born to professional athletes. On his previous beat covering college basketball, he won four Magazine Story of the Year awards given by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
#24. GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS, CBC, HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA.
443K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 15.9K TWEETS, @Strombo
A broadcast veteran in television and radio, GEORGE STROUMBOULOPOULOS has earned a reputation for being authentic and relatable and is one of the most trusted and respected broadcasters in Canada. A multiple award-winner, he has won the Gemini Award for best host or interviewer in a talk series for six consecutive years, and four for best talk series in Canada. George also took home the Best Host Award from this year’s inaugural Canadian Screen Awards and is the fourth-most trusted Canadian according to Reader’s Digest’s 2012 Annual Trust Poll. Additionally, George has been honoured as the recipient of a Gracie Award from the American Women of Radio and Television.
George is the host and co-executive producer of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Canada’s primetime talk show, connecting his audience to the world’s most influential and fascinating actors, musicians, and newsmakers through his signature interview style.
George Stroumboulopoulos said it will be a “dream” to anchor next season’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Rogers Communications introduced Stroumboulopoulos as one of the new faces of Hockey Night when the telecom and media firm takes control of Canada’s NHL broadcasting rights.
#23. J.A. ADANDE, ESPN, AROUND THE HORN, L.A. TIMES.
445K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 15.4K TWEETS, @Jadande
J.A. ADANDE is a sports columnist who covers the National Basketball Association for ESPN.com. He also serves as a panelist for ESPN’s Around the Horn and as a guest host on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption television shows. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism, where he teaches a class entitled “Sports Commentary,” and co-teaches a class entitled “Sports Public Relations.”
J.A., has giving Los Angeles Times readers his view of the sports world for six years, introducing them to everyone from Shaquille O’Neal to the man who operates the center field geyser at Edison Field.
Prior to working at the Times, he worked as a writer at The Washington Post, where he covered college football, college basketball and the Washington Bullets (as they were known then).
His first job after graduating from Northwestern University was with the Chicago Sun-Times. He covered Illinois football and basketball and the Chicago Bulls.
Other assignments for the native of Los Angeles have included the Olympic Games, Wimbledon, the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, and the NBA Finals.
His work has appeared in the annual “Best American Sports Writing” series.
#22. DARREN ROVELL, ESPN, BUSINESS REPORTER.
448K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 65.5K TWEETS, @DarrenRovell
Darren Rovell is a sports business analyst who re-joined ESPN in June 2012
Rovell graduated from Roslyn High School in Roslyn Heights, New York in 1996.
He attended and graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 2000, where he is on the advisory board for graduate programs in sports administration. He majored in theater instead of journalism, believing it would be better practice for TV appearances. However, he also hosted a college radio show about sports business.
Rovell interned for FoxSports.com, Rovell joined CNBC in 2006.
Rovell was recruited out of college as a sports business writer for ESPN.com. He reported on sports agents, endorsements, and contracts frequently on ESPN’s Sportscenter.
#21. KEN ROSENTHAL, FOX SPORTS. BASEBALL REPORTER.
450K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 32.6K TWEETS, @Ken_Rosenthal
KEN ROSENTHAL is currently a sports writer/reporter for Fox News. He started his career in writing as an intern at Long Island’s Newsday. He went on to start a full time career with the Baltimore Sun. While writing for the Baltimore Sun, Rosenthal was named Maryland Sportswriter of the Year five times by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association. Ken Rosenthal also contributed to Sports Illustrated from 1990-2000 providing weekly notes throughout baseball season. In 2005, Rosenthal became the lead field reporter for Fox Sports and he continues his work with Fox Sports now.
#20. KEITH OLBERMANN, ESPN, ESPN.COM, TBS.
494K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 41.6K TWEETS, @KeithOlbermann
Keith Olbermann is an American sports and political commentator and writer. As of 2013 he hosts a late-night show on ESPN2 called Olbermann, as well as being the studio host of TBS’s baseball postseason coverage.
Previously, he was the chief news officer of the Current TV network and the host of the Current TV weeknight political commentary program, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, until March 30, 2012, a program he hosted with the same title and a similar format on MSNBC from March 2003 to January 2011.
During his time at MSNBC, Olbermann established a niche in cable news commentary, gaining note for his pointed criticism of right-wing or conservative politicians and public figures. Though he has frequently been described as a “liberal”, he has resisted being labelled politically, stating “I’m not a liberal. I’m an American.”
Olbermann spent the first twenty years of his career in sports journalism. He was a sports correspondent for CNN and for local TV and radio stations in the 1980s, winning the Best Sportscaster award from the California Associated Press three times. He co-hosted ESPN’s SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997. From 1998 to 2001, he was a producer and anchor for Fox Sports Net and a host of MLB on FOX.
#19. RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN, TURNER SPORTS.
533K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 10.9K TWEETS, @Rachel_Nichols
CNN and Turner Sports have hired veteran ESPN reporter RACHEL NICHOLS, Nichols will serve as a sports reporter for CNN and Turner Sports and will anchor a new weekend sports program on CNN/U.S. beginning later this year. Her CNN program will focus on the most interesting stories and personalities in the world of sports. In her role with Turner Sports, Nichols will handle a wide variety of assignments across the division’s vast sports properties including the NBA and Major League Baseball. Additionally, Nichols will cover all major sporting events, including the Olympics for CNN.
Prior to joining CNN and Turner Sports, Nichols spent nine years at ESPN, working as a correspondent for SportsCenter, NFL Countdown, NBA Countdown and the network’s news magazine show, E:60, as well performing sideline duties on a number of Monday Night Football broadcasts. Earlier in her career, Nichols worked as a reporter for the Washington Post and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.
A native of Potomac, Maryland, Nichols received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
#18. TONY REALI, ESPN, AROUND THE HORN. PTI STAT BOY.
565K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 10.4K TWEETS, @AroundTheHorn
TONY REALI joined ESPN in July 2000 as researcher/writer for ESPN’s fast-paced sports quiz show Two Minute Drill with host Kenny Mayne. In September 2001, Reali became researcher for ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (5:30 p.m. ET Mon.-Fri. ESPN), a role which evolved into daily on-air appearances correcting factual errors by co-hosts Tony Korheiser and Michael Wilbon at the end of each show.
Reali’s presence grew to include a segment on the Tony Kornheirser Show on ESPN Radio (10 a.m.-1 p.m. Mon.-Fri.) called “Preview the Interruption” during which he would discuss that afternoon’s PTI.
In February 2004, Reali was named host of Around the Horn (5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.), a show for which he had been a regular fill-in host and guest panelist. He is also a regular guest on various ESPN Radio programs.
Prior to joining ESPN, Reali was sportscaster for WFUV 90.7 FM at Fordham University in The Bronx (1997-00), serving as the voice of the men’s football and basketball teams and hosting New York City’s longest-running sports call-in show. He also served as beat reporter for the new York Yankees, Mets, Giants and Jets, and in May 2000 wrote for New York City’s WB channel 11.
The Staten Island born Reali received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Communication and History from Fordham University.
#17. ADRIAN WOJNAROWSKI, YAHOO.COM, NBA.
565K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 7K TWEETS, @WojYahooNBA
Wojnarowski began his career working for the Hartford Courant starting as a high school senior and continuing during breaks from college. After graduating from college, he wrote for some smaller papers before becoming a columnist for the Fresno Bee in 1995.
In 1997, he started working for The Record in New Jersey. As a result of his work with The Record, he was named “Columnist of the Year” in 1997 and 2002 by the AP Sports Editors. During this time, he also contributed regularly to ESPN.com.
#16. MATTHEW BERRY, ESPN, ESPN.COM, SPORTS FANTASY GURU.
591K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 28.3K TWEETS, @MatthewBerryTMR
Matthew Berry is an ESPN Fantasy Sports analyst and ESPM.com columnist. He writes under the nickname “the Talented Mr. Roto,” or “TMR”. Berry currently works as ESPN’s senior director of fantasy sports.
Berry is a comical writer and one who more often than not acknowledges his false predictions rather than his correct ones. Berry also is known for his publishing of hate mail emailed in by readers who have taken his poor advice which then cost them dearly during the week.
Berry is a frequent target for criticism because he is vocal about his opinions on players and their projected performance. “You don’t see people getting upset about middle-of-the-road guys. I guess that means I’m doing my job well.”
Berry frequently emphasizes that a player on the “Hate” list are not players that he believes will play poorly, but instead players that are being drafted too high or started too often. For example, in the pre-season article preparing readers for the draft, a usual first-rounder on the “Hate” list might be thought by Berry to deserve to go about five spots lower than he normally does, while later-round players on the “Love” list are players Berry would draft a round or two higher than expected.
In June 2007, Berry and fellow ESPN fantasy analyst Nate Ravitz were announced as the full-time hosts of the “Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast”. He currently hosts ESPN’s “Fantasy Focus Football Podcast” with Ravitz, injury expert Stephania Bell, and produced by Jay Soderberg (also known as “Pod Vader”). This podcast is currently ESPN’s most downloaded original-content podcast (and second overall behind only the podcast version of Pardon the Interruption). It consistently ranks among the top ten podcasts on iTunes and in August 2009, was the #1 audio podcast on all of iTunes. The show has won a total of five awards from PodcastAwards.com, including “Best Sports Podcast” in 2009, 2011, and 2012, and the overall “People’s Choice” podcast in 2009 and 2012. Berry is also featured on SportsCenter.
#15. JAY GLAZER, FOX SPORTS, FOX SPORTS 1, NFL AND MMA.
600K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 10.3K TWEETS, @JayGlazer
Jay Glazer is an American senior writer for FoxSports.com and has been the NFL Insider for NFL on FOX since 2004. He is also a business partner with Randy Couture in MMAthletics based in Las Vegas, Nevada at Xtreme Couture Training Center. Glazer trains NFL players in Mixed Martial Arts at their Los Angeles location during the off-season Glazer hosts UFC shows for FOX Sports and Fuel TV, including weigh-ins and pre/post coverage.
Glazer began his writing career as a reporter at the New York Post in New York City. He worked his way up within the Post organization by developing access to players and agents.
“Jay is considered one of the NFL’s top “Insiders”, providing content for television, radio and the web. Jay has served as a Co-Host and NFL Analyst for NY 1 Television (1993-1998). In addition, Jay added duties as a Studio Analyst for WNYW – Fox 5 during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. From 1995-1998, he was a New York Giants reporter for the Madison Square Garden Network.”
#14. SCOTT VAN PELT, ESPN, ESPN.COM, ESPN RADIO, SVP&RUSSILLO.
628K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 21.3K TWEETS, @NotTheFakeSVP
NET WORTH: $16,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $2,000,000.00
Scott Van Pelt is an American sportscaster and sports talk show host. He currently co-anchors the 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter on ESPN, serves as the co-host of SVP & RUSSILLO on ESPN radio, and hosts various Golf events for the network.
Van Pelt began his career in sportscasting at WTTG-TV, a FOX affiliate in Washington D.C. in 1990 and then moved on to the Golf Channel, where he worked from 1994 to 2000 as a studio host for some of the network’s signature programs. He left the channel in 2001 to join ESPN, He is also a studio presenter for Friday night College Football on ESPN.
#13. JAY BILAS, ESPN, COLLEGE BASKETBALL INSIDER.
651K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 18.7K TWEETS, @JayBilas
NET WORTH: $2,500,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $500,000.00
JAY BILAS, ESPN broadcaster and attorney, is one of basketball’s strongest voices. He joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 1995 and today serves as game and studio analyst, working more than 40 games a season and co-hosting ESPN’s popular road show, College GameDay. He also is a regular contributor to SportsCenter, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN radio, and he provides commentary on coverage of the NBA Draft and NCAA Final Four.
Bilas is a two-time Emmy nominee for Best Studio Analyst and in 2010 was named Best Game Analyst by Sports Illustrated. He received “Best Column of the Year” from the US Basketball Writers Association and the “Distinguished Young Alumni Award” from Duke Law School.
#12. RICH EISEN, NFL NETWORK, NFL.COM. THE RICH EISEN PODCAST.
713K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 22.1K TWEETS, @RichEisen
NET WORTH: $10,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $1,000,000.00
RICH EISEN was the first on-air talent added to the NFL Network roster in June 2003. Eisen is the face of the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week cable and satellite channel dedicated to football that debuted in November 2003. He was the main host of the show, NFL Total Access, the network flagship program, until August of 2011. Eisen signed a new long-term deal with NFL Network in 2010 and became the new host of NFL Game Day Morning, the first pregame show on the NFL Network. Eisen also remains host of NFL Total Access and NFL Gameday Highlights, as well as NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football pregame, halftime and postgame shows and special on-location coverage from league events such as Kickoff, Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL Scouting Combine, NFL Draft and Super Bowl.
Eisen expanded his resume in 2010 with the debut of ‘The Rich Eisen Podcast,’ the first-ever podcast for NFL.com. The weekly podcast, available on NFL.com and iTunes, features guests from the world of sports and entertainment news talking football and all the latest headlines. Since its debut, the podcast has been downloaded more than 7,000,000 and recently celebrated its 200th Episode(2013).
Before working for the NFL Network, he worked for ESPN. He was part of a duo with Stuart Scott, and became well known for his humor, most notably his impressions. Eisen was also the host of ESPN’s reality series, Beg, Borrow and Deal. For ESPN Radio.
Among Eisen’s notable achievements while at ESPN, was breaking the news of St. Louis slugger Mark McGwire’s retirement from baseball in 2001 on SportsCenter. Days later, he sat down with McGwire for an exclusive interview elaborating on the decision.
Eisen was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended the University of Michigan, where he served as co–sports editor of the school’s Michigan Daily and member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He graduated in 1990 with a bachelor of arts degree, and in 1994 he earned a master of science degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at NorthWestern University.
#11. COLIN COWHERD, ESPN, ESPN RADIO,THE HERD PODCAST.
715K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 11K TWEETS, @ESPN_Colin
NET WORTH: $12,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $2,000,000.00
COLIN COWHERD is host of ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, broadcast nationally 10 a.m.-2 p.m. ET Monday-Friday from ESPN Radio’s studios in Bristol, Conn. A simulcast of the show debuted on ESPNU in August 2008. He also is co-host of SportsNation, a one-hour studio show weekdays at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
Cowherd joined ESPN Radio from KFXX 910-AM “The Fan” in Portland, Ore., where he hosted the popular three-hour morning drive program, The Herd. He also anchored weeknight sports and “Sports Sunday” for KGW Northwest NewsChannel 8.
Cowherd’s experience includes serving as sports anchor at Tampa’s WTVT-TV, where he received a local Sports Emmy for Buc Sunday, and as sports director at KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, where he earned multiple Nevada Sportscaster of the Year awards. He began his career as the play-by-play voice for the Pacific Coast League’s Las Vegas Stars.
#10. INES SAINZ, T.V. AZTECA MEXICO. CNN.
724K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 10.8K TWEETS, @InesSainzG
Inés Sainz Gallo de Pérez is a Mexican journalist for CNN en Espanol, hosting the Spanish-language sports interview program DxTips (or, Deportips); she is also a journalist for Azteca Deportes. Sainz and her husband, who reside in Mexico, own the production company that created the show. Sainz works in the English language as a boxing match hostess.
In 2010, TV Azteca’s website’s featured photo galleries of her as well as an article in its “Bad Girls” section extolling her as a woman of intelligence and humor, illustrated by a photo of her modeling a swimsuit. Likewise, during the 2000s, Sainz appeared on the cover of such Spanish-language magazines as Revista Gente y la Actualidad, Maxim, and Esquire Mexico. Prior and during the 2010 World Cup, pictures of Sainz were featured on such places as Bleacher Report and the websites run by Sports Illustrated and Men’s Health. Sainz was chosen by the magazine FHM as the fifth sexiest woman sports reporter in the world in August 2009.
#9. MICHELLE BEADLE, ESPN, SPORTSNATION.
843K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 13.4K TWEETS, @MichelleDBeadle
NET WORTH: $1,500,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $600,000.00
MICHELLE BEADLE joined ESPN on June 1, 2009, as co-host with Colin Cowherd of SportsNation, which premiered on ESPN2 on July 6, 2009. Beadle was one of the last people out of 142 to audition for SportsNation ESPN called her back and asked her to write about what she would do to make the show better. Thinking it was a joke, she wrote “a sarcastic list of 10 stupid things,” which helped her land the job.
On May 22, 2012, it was announced that she was leaving ESPN for the family of NBC networks, primarily NBC Sports Network, eventually to become co-host of Access Hollywood She anchored NBC Sports Network’s daily morning studio coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
Beadle returned to ESPN on March 3, 2014.
#8. BUSTER OLNEY, ESPN, ESPN THE MAGAZINE, BASEBALL INSIDER.
865K TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 47.3K TWEETS, @Buster_ESPN
Robert Stanbury “Buster” Olney III is an American columnist for ESPN: The Magazine, ESPN.com, and covered the New York Giants and New York Yankees for The New York Times. He is also a regular analyst for the ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Olney is one of about 575 voters for the Baseball Hall Of Fame. He also hosts ESPN’s Baseball Tonight daily podcast.
Olney grew up on a dairy farm in Randolph Center, Vermont, which came in handy when he served as the “Cow Insider” for Mike Greenberg’s milking of a cow on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” on June 21, 2007. He was educated at Northfield Mount Hermon School and Vanderbilt University, where he majored in history. As a child Buster was an avid baseball fan. At age 8, he developed an affinity for the Los Angeles Dodgers after reading a book about Sandy Koufax. Buster would later attribute his fan-ship as a reason for his journalistic career.
#7. PETER KING, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, THE MMQB.COM
1.27 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 15K TWEETS, @SI_PeterKing
Peter King is a sportswriter for Sports Illustrated, including the weekly multiple-page column Monday Morning Quarterback. He is the author of five books, including Inside the Helmet. He was named National Sportswriter of the Year for 2010.
Before coming to SI in 1989, King was a writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer from 1980 to 1985 and Newsday from 1985 to 1989.
Since 1992 King has been a member of the Board of Selectors for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Since 2006, he has been a part of Football Night In America, NBC’s Sunday Night NFL studio show.
King is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
#6. SKIP BAYLESS, ESPN, ESPN.COM, FIRST TAKE.
1.32 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 21.1K TWEETS, @RealSkipBayless
NET WORTH: $4,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $500,000.00
SKIP BAYLESS joined ESPN in 2004 as a writer for ESPN.com and a commentator on Cold Pizza, ESPN2’s former weekday morning show. In May 2007, the show moved from New York to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, CT and was rechristened First Take.
First Take has evolved into a daily studio show that debates the day’s most interesting sports topics, designed to present and challenge the opinions of Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, as well as various sports personalities. With a background as a nationally respected columnist, Bayless is well-known for defending his strong opinions.
Bayless previously worked as a star columnist for more than 20 years in Dallas (Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald), Chicago (Chicago Tribune) and for the Knight-Ridder media company based at the San Jose Mercury News. Bayless was voted “Texas Sportswriter of the Year” three times during his tenure in Dallas, and was voted “Illinois Sportswriter of the Year” in addition to winning the Lisagor Award for excellence in sports column writing while at theChicago Tribune. He was also a sports writer for the Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times. Bayless is the author of three best-selling books chronicling three eras of the Dallas Cowboys.
Bayless graduated from Vanderbilt University, which he attended on the university’s prestigious Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Sportswriting Scholarship.
#5. MICHAEL WILBON, ESPN. ESPN.COM, PTI, NBA INSIDER.
1.35 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 4.5K TWEETS, @RealMikeWilbon
NET WORTH: $9,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $1,500,000.00
MICHAEL WILBON is one of the nation’s most respected sports journalists and an industry pioneer as one of the first sportswriters to broaden his career beyond newspapers to include television, radio and new media. A co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption and a NBA studio analyst for KIA NBA Countdown on ABC and ESPN, Wilbon left The Washington Post in December 2010 after 31 years to assume an expanded role as a columnist for ESPN.com and ESPNChicago.com.
Wilbon and his former Washington Post colleague Tony Kornheiser have co-hosted PTI since the show’s debut in September of 2001. Highlighted by the type of discussion and verbal sparring the two engaged in for years at The Post, the popular weekday sports news and commentary show features wide-ranging discussion of the day’s news and events. PTI earned the 2009 Sports Emmy Award in the “Daily Studio” category and the show continues to increase its ratings and viewership each year.
Named an NBA studio analyst in 2006, Wilbon regularly contributes to NBA news and information programming across ESPN platforms. He also appears weekly on ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago, with Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio and with Kornheiser on ESPN980 in Washington.
He joined The Washington Post in 1980 as a sports reporter, after two summer internships atThe Post, and was a columnist from 1990-2010, dealing as much with the issues of the day as they related to sports as what transpired on the fields or courts. During his years at The PostWilbon edited two books with NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, “I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It” and “Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man,” both of which made the New York Times best-seller list. For more than a decade Wilbon appeared as a panelist on WRC-TV-4’s “Redskins Report” and “Full Court Press” with host George Michael.
In 2009 Wilbon was honored by the National Association of Journalists with the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Two years earlier he and Kornheiser received The Post’sprestigious Eugene Meyer Award which recognizes employees who exemplify the principals embodied by the newspaper’s former owner/publisher. In 2001 he was recognized by Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists, as the top sports columnist in America. In March of 2011 he was inducted into the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame for his coverage and commentary on sports in and around the Nation’s Capital.
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Wilbon graduated in 1980 from Northwestern University, where he is now a member of the Board of Trustees, and where he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Medill School of Journalism’s Hall of Achievement in 1997. In June 2010 Wilbon delivered the commencement address at his alma mater. He is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, and resides in Bethesda, Md., and Scottsdale, Arizona.
#4. STEPHEN A. SMITH, ESPN, ESPN.COM, FIRST TAKE
1.75 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 26.1K TWEETS, @StephenASmith
NET WORTH: $10,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $2,000,000.00
STEPHEN A. SMITH is a local ESPN Radio host and ESPN.com columnist. He, along with Skip Bayless, is a featured commentator on ESPN2’s First Take weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, discussing and debating the sports topics of the day.
Smith hosts a pair of two-hour, weekday local radio shows – one airing on 1050 ESPN (WEPN-AM) in New York from 7-9 p.m. ET and another on 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM) in Los Angeles from 6-8 p.m. PT.
Additionally, Smith is a featured ESPN.com columnist, writing regularly for ESPNLA.com and ESPNNY.com.
Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08. Smith hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07. Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show. He also regularly appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN2’s First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning.
Smith also hosted a morning show on Fox Sports Radio. Previously, Smith held several positions – most recently as a general sports columnist – during 16 years with the Philadelphia Inquirer(1994-2010). Prior to joining the Inquirer, Smith was a reporter with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News.
#3. ERIN ANDREWS, FOX SPORTS, DANCING WITH THE STARS.
2.17 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 15K TWEETS, @ErinAndrews
Erin Jill Andrews is an American sportscaster, journalist, and television personality. She currently hosts FOX College Football for Fox Sports, as well as Dancing with the Stars for ABC, Andrews was previously a co-host of College Game Day on ESPN and a contributor for Good Morning America on the ABC network.
Andrews began working for ESPN in May 2004 as a reporter for ESPN National Hockey Night. She has also reported for the College World Series. Andrews began serving as a sideline reporter for ESPN Saturday College Primetime and Big Ten college basketball games, and in 2005 her job expanded to include Major League Baseball sideline reporting. From 2008 to 2010, she reported for ESPN’s and ABC’s live coverage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
On June 29, 2012, it was announced that Andrews was leaving ESPN to join Fox Sports. She was the first host of Fox College Football’s studio show with Eddie George and Joey Harrington joining her as analysts. Andrews is also a contributor on Fox NFL Sunday and serves as a field reporter for most major sporting events aired on Fox – such as the MLB All=Star Game, the World Series, the NFL Playoffs, and Daytona 500.
With the launch of Fox Sports 1 on August 17, 2013, Andrews took on several new roles. She became the host of Fox College Football Kickoff and Fox College Saturday, a direct competitor to ESPN College Gameday, which previews the weekend’s biggest college football games. Erin Andrews would also contribute to daily studio show Fox Football Daily.
On February 23, 2014, it was announced that Andrews would replace Brooke Burke-Charvet as the co-host of Dancing with the Stars beginning with its 18th season.
#2. BILL SIMMONS, ESPN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF GRANTLAND, THE B.S.REPORT PODCAST, ABC/ESPN BASKETBALL, ESPN E:60, ESPN 30 FOR 30.
2.54 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 12.3K TWEETS, @BillSimmons
NET WORTH: $15,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $3,000,000.00
“The Sports Guy” BILL SIMMONS, is a columnist, author and podcaster whose prolific writings,rants and insights have become the voice for a generation of American sports fans.
Simmons is the Editor-in-Chief of Grantland.com, the sports and pop culture web site he created, which includes a mix of original columns, long-form features and blog posts by an accomplished and diverse lineup of the Internet’s leading writers and editors. Grantland.com, which launched in June 2011, is also home to every Simmons column and podcast published on ESPN.com.
A pioneer of sports writing on the Internet, Simmons is the most popular writer on ESPN.com, where his columns, podcasts and other content have been featured on the site’s page 2; The Sports Guy’s World. With a signature style that reflects sports and pop-culture from the view of a deeply-engaged sports fan, Simmons’ informative and entertaining columns are read by millions each month, and his podcast, The B.S.Report, is the No. 1 sports podcast on iTunes, with more than 42 million downloads last year. He is also highly popular on Twitter, with more than 2.5 million followers.
In 2012, Simmons also became a studio analyst for ABC and ESPN, where he appears regularly onKIA NBA Countdown.
Simmons is the author of the New York Times No. 1 best-selling book The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy, and Now I Can Die In Peace: How The Sports Guy Found Salvation Thanks to the World Champion (Twice!) Red Sox.
Simmons also consults on original programs and projects for ESPN. He is a special contributor to ESPN’s news magazine E:60, and he is an executive producer of ESPN’s critically acclaimed documentary series 30 for 30.
Simmons began writing for ESPN.com in 2001, and for seven years starting in 2002 he was the lead columnist for ESPN The Magazine. Simmons also served as a writer for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show on ABC from 2002 to 2004.
Before joining ESPN.com, Simmons hosted his own Web site, BostonSportsGuy.com, which began as a page on AOL’s Digital City Boston in 1997. He has also written for the Boston Herald and Boston Phoenix.
Simmons received a Masters Degree in Journalism from Boston University and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross. He lives in Los Angeles.
Shockingly when I began this endeavor to find the Top 50 Most Popular Non Athlete Sports Media Members, I truly believed I at least knew who #1 would be…….My belief was it was BILL SIMMONS hands down, To my Surprise there is one person Twitter tunes into more than “The Sports Guy”…..?
#1.5 LOL, KHALID HAQQ,
190 TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 980 TWEETS, @UponReviewBlue
KHALID HAQQ, but for the majority of my 37 years on this planet I’ve been known by the nickname…..BLUE.
I was born in 1976 in the City of Toronto…..I Eat, Sleep and Breath Sports.
I avidly follow all Sports but the NFL and NBA are by far my favorites.
I have been a Sports Gambler for over 20 Years and a Fantasy Sports Player for 10.
My favorite Sports Media Members to read and listen to are Bill Simmons of Grantland and ESPN, Colin Cowherd also of ESPN along with Rich Eisen of the NFL Network. Here in My Hometown of Toronto, The Best are Bob McCowan, Stephen Brunt, Bruce Arthur, Tim Micallef and Elliote Friedman.
I love the World of Entertainment, Movies, Music and T.V., Michael Jackson is my favorite Entertainer of All-Time.,Seinfeld, Curb your Enthusiasm and Two and a half Men are three of my favorite TV Sitcom Shows, Entourage, The Sopranos, Law and Order, The Mentalist and recently The NewsRoom satisfy my dramatic TV needs. Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Matt Damon Entertain me as well and I’ve been a hip hop head since 1984 and a fan of Ice Cube, Tupac and Nas.
I will never hide my Sports allegiances, I am a Sports Fan…..but I will always keep an open mind to both sides of a debate.
In order of My Favorite Sports Teams and Athletes, 1. Los Angeles Lakers, 2. New England Patriots, 3. Toronto Raptors, 4. Toronto Maple Leafs, 5. Toronto Blue Jays……In Team Sports my Favorite Athletes are: Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Demar Derozan, Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Neymar and Jose Reyas along with Tiger Woods & Floyd Mayweather as Individual Sport Athletes. Historically I roll with Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Wendel Clark, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr, Pedro Martinez, Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Tracey McGrady, and Randy Moss.
I have always enjoyed the finer things in life and hope to Educate and Entertain you.
And now without further delay for my blatant self promotion……(Please follow me on Twitter!) …..The #1 Most Popular non Athlete Sports Media Member:
#1. ADAM SCHEFTER, ESPN, NFL INSIDER. NFL SUNDAY COUNTDOWN.
2.81 MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, 23.3K TWEETS, @AdamSchefter
NET WORTH: $4,000,000.00 , ANNUAL SALARY: $750,000.00
ADAM SCHEFTER joined ESPN as an NFL Insider in August 2009 and appears on the new weekday show NFL Insiders as well as SportsCenter, NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and other programs throughout the year. Additionally, he contributes regularly to other platforms, including ESPN.com and ESPN Radio.
Schefter has covered the NFL for over 20 years and is regarded as one of the top reporters in the industry. Before joining ESPN, Schefter was a reporter/analyst for NFL Network (2004-08) and a sportswriter for the Denver Post for 15 years, where he covered the Broncos.
In October 2010, Sports Illustrated included Schefter in its “Power 40+”, a listing of the NFL’s most influential officials, executives, coaches, players and media members. SI also ranked him (and senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen) at No. 13 on its list of the Most Powerful People in Sports Media in March 2013. Schefter has been voted best Insider three straight years in USA Today fan surveys. He also has more than two million followers on Twitter.
In 2010, Schefter and Mortensen departed on separate cross-country road trips for ESPN that took them to all 32 NFL training camps in 19 days, logging more than 15,000 miles combined. Mortensen concentrated on teams in the West, while Schefter focused on the East.
A former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, Schefter has authored four books, including Romo: My Life on the Edge Living Dreams and Slaying Dragons about former Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski which was on the New York Times best seller list. Schefter also wrote books with former Broncos head coach and two-time Super Bowl champion Mike Shanahan and former Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis. Schefter’s latest title, The Class of Football: Words of Hard-Earned Wisdom from Legends of the Gridiron, was released in August 2009.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Schefter was the Colorado Sports Writer of the Year in 2002 and 2003. He also frequently appeared on ESPN’s Around the Horn and the Sports Reporters during his time with the Post. A native of Bellmore, N.Y., Schefter was recognized by the Nassau County (N.Y.) Sports Commission in 2012 with the organization’s Broadcast Media Award at its annual “Salute to Champions” dinner.
There you have it, The Top 50 Non Athlete Sports Media Members, from Importance to the Sporting Landscape, Entertainment Value, General Popularity and Ranked in order of their Personal Twitter Followers.
So what have we learned, Half of the List’s Members are Employed in whole or in part by The World Wide Leader in Sports: ESPN, A large percentage Graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, and you don’t have to have been a Professional Athlete to Succeed or even be popular in the Sports Media World.
This list is far from perfect, and most definitely not exhausted……there are many notable omissions for many reasons, some Individuals that don’t have Twitter Accounts like Tony Kornheiser of ESPN, Mike Mayock of the NFL Network and Stephen Brunt of Rogers SportsNet and SN360. to Members who just missed the cut, not necessarily by the amount of Twitter followers but just because the list was only 50 deep, but to acknowledge a few here: Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC ) of CBC, Andy Katz (@ESPNandykatz ) of ESPN, Pablo Torre (@PabloTorre ), Tim Cowlishaw ( @TimCowlishaw ), Bill Plaschke ( @BillPlaschke ) and Woody Paige ( @woodypaige ) all of ESPN among other outlets, Michael Grange ( @michaelgrange ), Donnovan Bennett ( @DonnovanBennett ), and John Shannon ( @JSportsnet ) of Rogers Sportsnet and two of my Personal Favorites Eric Smith ( @Eric__Smith ) and Paul Jones ( @Paul__Jones ) of SN590FAN and play-by-play voices of the Toronto Raptors.