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ESPN Remembers Joe Valerio

Valerio oversaw production of the majority of ESPN's The Sports Reporters' nearly 30-year run

Joe Valerio in 1980.
(Tom Ford/ESPN Images)

News spread Sunday of the passing of Joe Valerio – the influential producer of ESPN’s legendary Sunday morning series The Sports Reporters. He was 71.

Valerio, who had worked in ESPN’s programming department for a short time in the early days of ESPN, oversaw the majority of the production of The Sports Reporters’ 30-year run. The show aired every week from its debut in October 1988 through its final episode in May 2017.

As ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap outlined in this tribute piece which aired on ESPN this morning, Valerio was known for his passion, sharp wit, and smarts. A groundbreaking program featuring newspaper columnists debating issues in sports, The Sports Reporters helped usher in a new genre of sports studio programming, while bolstering the profile of some of the most renowned sports personalities in the industry.

Long-time hosts included Jeremy’s father, Dick Schaap, and John Saunders. This post on Front Row from 2017, around the time of the final episode of The Sports Reporters, outlines the show’s impact and includes thoughts from and about Valerio.
Westport (Conn.) News: Interview with Joe Valerio

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