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Linda Cohn To Anchor Record 5,000th SportsCenter

Jason Barrett

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A fixture on SportsCenter for nearly a quarter of a century, Linda Cohn will reach a milestone with ESPN’s signature news and information program in February.

Cohn, who has hosted more editions of SportsCenter than anyone in the 36-year history of the program, will anchor her 5,000th show on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 8 a.m. ET on ESPN. More than 60,000 SportsCenters have aired since ESPN was launched in September of 1979.

Cohn anchored her first SportsCenter on July 11, 1992, a 2 a.m. program in which she was paired with former ESPN anchor Chris Myers, now with Fox Sports.

“It’s just an amazing journey that I’ve been very fortunate to have been on for 23 years,” said Cohn. “As players and athletes always say, they don’t look at a number or body of work until that body of work is over, that’s how I kind of compare it. I don’t even think about the number.”

Cohn is now most often seen hosting weekend morning editions of SportsCenter (10 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday). She also reports from events, as she will do from Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.

During her career at ESPN, the versatile Cohn has hosted, reported, commentated, interviewed, written and called play-by-play. She also has appeared in many of ESPN’s iconic “This Is SportsCenter commercials. A partial list of events, sports and assignments Cohn has had for ESPN in addition to anchoring 5,000 SportCenters:

Cohn’s early career included both radio and television, starting in local radio in 1981 in Patchogue, N.Y., on her native Long Island. She became the first full-time female sports anchor on a national radio network (ABC) in 1987. Her first TV work was with WLIG-TV on Long Island as a part-time anchor and reporter, and before coming to ESPN, she was a sports anchor/reporter for KIRO-TV in Seattle.

As far as she is concerned, Cohn would like to do many more shows.

“I just figure, hey, I’m going to work each day doing what I love to do,” she said. “There will be plenty of time to look back and say ‘wow, did I really do that many SportsCenters?’”

To read the full article visit ESPN Media Zone.

Sports TV News

NHL All-Star Game Ratings See 31% Increase

The event on ABC saw an average of 1.5 million viewers over the weekend, with the game peaking at 1.9 million viewers.

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After a less-than-stellar report on the television ratings front for the first half of the NHL season, ESPN saw encouraging news from the 2023 NHL All-Star Game ratings.

The event on ABC saw an average of 1.5 million viewers over the weekend, with the game peaking at 1.9 million viewers.

That number is a 31% increase over the 2022 edition of the event, ESPN reported. In the coveted 18-49 demographic, the festivities were up 52% compared to a season ago.

On Friday evening, the NHL All-Star Skills event was the top-rated cable program in the 18-49 demo, with an average of just over 1 million viewers.

However, last year’s events — bot the NHL All-Star Skills and NHL All-Star Game — were faced by competition from the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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Sports TV News

Candace Parker, Draymond Green Joining NBA All-Star Game Broadcast

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event.

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WNBA superstar Candace Parker and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green will join the NBA All-Star Game broadcast crew later this month.

Parker will team with play-by-play man Brian Anderson and Reggie Miller for the broadcast on TNT. Dennis Scott will work as the sideline reporter for the broadcast.

The 36-year-old Parker will make history as the first woman to work as an analyst for the event. Parker currently serves as a game and studio analyst for the NBA on TNT but will be announcing her first NBA All-Star Game.

The event is also the first for Anderson, who joins an illustrious group of play-by-players like Bob Costas, Marv Albert, and Kevin Harlan as voices of the NBA All-Star Game.

Green will be joined by the Inside the NBA studio crew — Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley — for the alternate broadcast on TBS.

A four-time All-Star in his own right, Green is a contributor to TNT throughout the NBA season.

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game takes place on Sunday, February 19th in Salt Lake City.

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Sports TV News

Kevin Harvick Only Spoke to FOX About Broadcasting Opportunities

“They’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

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NASCAR legend Kevin Harvick is joining the NASCAR on FOX booth for the 2024 season. The former series champion said the network was the only one he discussed broadcasting opportunities with.

Harvick told Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern that FOX was the only outlet he would have considered joining, claiming “they’re very similar to the things I like to do — being a little bit edgy and doing things their own way.”

The 60-race winner will join longtime play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR on FOX booth after completing his final season of competition in 2023.

Harvick added he is looking forward to getting to know more people behind the scenes at the network.

“One of the most intriguing things to me is being more involved in the whole process and getting to know the production people and producers.”

FOX had been seeking a replacement for another NASCAR legend — Jeff Gordon — after he departed the booth to join Hendrick Motorsports as its Vice Chairman after the 2021 season. Meanwhile, the NASCAR on NBC analysts roles are currently held by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Burton, both somewhat recently retired drivers in their own right.

The addition of Harvick to its broadcast team could be considered a signal that FOX Sports is serious about continuing a relationship with NASCAR. The motorsports entity is reportedly planning to take its television rights to the open market as its contracts with FOX Sports and NBC Sports end after the 2024 season.

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