As we approach a new year, Front Row takes a look back at just some of the many stories – and select excerpts – written about the impressive group of women who have made history at ESPN in 2017.
From Doris Burke becoming the first woman NBA analyst and Beth Mowins becoming the first woman to call an NFL game to Samantha Ponder replacing Chris Berman on Sunday NFL Countdown and ESPN’s female executives gracing the cover of CableFax Magazine, these women are leaders of the industry and represent ESPN’s unending commitment to a diverse and inclusive work place.
Chicago Tribune: Doris Burke breaks ground as female NBA game analyst on ESPN
“Simply put, Doris Burke is one of the best commentators in sports,” Tim Corrigan, ESPN’s NBA senior coordinating producer, said in making the announcement. “She’s incredibly accomplished, respected and admired, and for good reason. Her work-ethic and her passion for the NBA are second-to-none, she’s a great colleague and she makes our coverage better.”
Los Angeles Times: Beth Mowins will take her place in history…on MNF
The Wrap: Female Empowerment, Anthem Protests, Tom Petty Tributes Among Hot Topics at espnW Summit
“The reality is that cultural and societal issues collide with sports all the time so I think we’ve really tried to handle it [both at the Summit and on espnW.com] with great professionalism and maturity,” [SVP, espnW and Women’s Initiatives] Laura Gentile said.
Sports Illustrated: Q&A: Sam Ponder on Sunday NFL Countdown gig
“It keeps me a part of something much bigger than me with some really impressive and quality people and keeps me involved in the game I love. It’s a schedule that allows me to be the kind of present and engaged wife and mom I want to be. It also just sounded like a whole lot of fun,” Ponder said.
Forbes: Podcast: How Laura Gentile Built espnW Into a Powerful Web Site
Washington Post: More women in sports TV means less boring guy TV
“The significance is not that a woman will be on an NFL telecast — there have been plenty of those on the sideline or in studio, largely thanks to ESPN — but rather the chair she’ll occupy.”
ESPN Front Row: ESPN Execs Grace Cover Of CableFax Magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” Issue
Fast Company: ESPN’s Laura Gentile: How This Former Field-Hockey Star Created The World’s Biggest Sports Brand For Women
The Atlantic: Doris Burke’s Expertise Is Finally Paying Off
“This season, though, the network made [Burke] the first woman to work as a full-time game analyst on a national NBA broadcast, another step in a continuing cultural shift. Jessica Mendoza began announcing ESPN’s marquee Sunday Night Baseball telecasts in 2015, and the opening Monday night of this football season featured Beth Mowins handling play-by-play duties…The barriers that have historically prevented women from doing this work—including boys’ club networks, presumptions of ignorance, and Twitter trolls—seem less insurmountable with every success story.”
Hollywoodlife.com: Nichols, Burke & Hubbarth — Fierce Females Of Sports
Think Progress: For the first time in NFL history, a woman will call play-by-play on national television
“To its credit ESPN is the only sports network/division among those that air NFL games (CBS, Fox, NFL Network, NBC, and ESPN) showing any full-time commitment to assigning women to on-air positions for men’s sports,” [Sports Illustrated’s] Richard Deitsch said.