SportsCenter

Long commute, early mornings worth it for SportsCenter:AM anchor Randy Scott as viewership numbers rise

Scott, who just signed a new, multiyear agreement to remain with ESPN, reflects on the many joys - and the occasional pains - involved with his job

SC:AM anchors Nicole Briscoe and Randy Scott

Randy Scott rises at 1:30 a.m. ET each working morning to commute from his home near Boston to arrive at the ESPN campus by 4 a.m. There, he and co-anchor Nicole Briscoe join the SportsCenter:AM show crew to prepare for three hours of live TV that starts at 7 a.m.

Scott and Briscoe lead the Monday-Thursday edition of the program, which in the 7-8 a.m. hour airs on ESPN and has seen three consecutive months of year-over-year viewership growth. The program slides over to ESPN2 from 8-10 a.m.

The viewership rise isn’t the only good news Scott has received recently – he also just signed a new, multiyear agreement to remain with ESPN.

“You start to feel those 1:30 a.m. wakeups by the end of the week, and you start looking forward to naps after work,” said Scott, who joined ESPN in June of 2012. “But to know that people are watching and the audience is growing and Nicole and I have established a foothold with the viewers, that makes it all worth it.

“And to have that recognized internally and have the company say we like what you’re doing so much that we want to see you do it here another few years,” he said, “that ties it all together.”

Scott enjoys his work so much that he finds himself being surprised that he’s now a “veteran” of ESPN, closing in on a personal goal of 10 years with the company.

“It’s flown by,” he said. “I was certainly no different than any other new hire where you’re sort of in awe the first six months to a year. You pass Chris Berman in the hall or you’re trading stories about Dewey Beach, Del., with Scott Van Pelt. That part stays with you.

“It doesn’t stop being a cool place to work, but then it starts being your place to work,” Scott said. “It starts being where you are identified with and if you’re lucky, you settle into a home and that’s what I’ve had in the morning SportsCenter.

“We have a great group and I’m so fortunate to have another team player like Nicole for a partner,” he said. “There are no egos involved. It’s all about sharing the ball and making the best show we can.”

Randy, Macho Man. . . Maybe Not

Scott keeps a list of every anchor he’s worked with on SportsCenter, and he’s done so many shows that naming his top memorable moment is difficult. But one day in early 2017 does come to mind.

“In terms of ‘I can’t believe they’re paying me for doing this,’ that might be when [WWE and Olympic wrestling champion] Kurt Angle put me in an ankle lock,” he said. “It was one of the more painful shows that I’ve ever had.

“I thought I was being this cool inside wrestling guy, like ‘Let’s go over the script ahead of time, like which way do you want me to turn when you put me in the ankle lock?’ And he was like, ‘Oh no, you’re going to turn how I want you to turn,’” Scott said.

“And that’s when I knew that maybe I thought we were just all joking around, but maybe Kurt was taking it a little more seriously than I was ready for. I volunteered and he put me in that hold and I didn’t walk right for a few days after that. I was limping on that ankle.”

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