As exciting as sports games are, sometimes it's the reporters who get a lot of attention and excitement from the crowd. Here are some of the most beloved female reporters and how they earned the admiration of their fans.
Heidi Watney is well recognized among sports fans for covering the Boston Red Sox. Thanks to gigs at The Red Sox Report and The Ultimate Red Sox, a lot of special opportunities have come this sportscaster's way.
After moving to Los Angeles, Watney became a broadcaster for Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and then moved on to work for the MLB Network. She was even featured as the sideline reporter for the baseball video games MLB The Show 19, MLB The Show 20, and MLB The Show 21.
It was almost a decade ago that some Spanish fans pointed the finger of blame at Sara Carbonero for Spain's loss to Switzerland at the 2019 FIFA World Cup. The theory was that Carbonero stood near then-boyfriend Spanish goalie Iker Casillas, distracting him from blocking a goal by Swiss player Gelson Fernandes.
But Carbonero began reporting well before the World Cup, starting an internship for Radio Marca during her 3rd year of college. Since 2009, she has worked primarily for the Spanish network Telecinco. However, she has also dipped her feet in other projects, including creating her own clothing brand in 2015.
Jennifer Hale first began reporting sports games in 2011 and quickly earned the adoration of American audiences. She came into the world of sports with a background as a news anchor, investigative reporter, author, and award-winner, which all helped boost her career as a sports reporter.
Today she works for FOX Sports New Orleans, covering the Pelicans' basketball games. She has also been invited for other important roles, such as filling in for Jenny Taft as moderator on ESPN's Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. She also covered The Basketball Tournament 2020 for ESPN and was the only reporter on site.
Allie LaForce is one sportscaster who can't be overlooked. She currently works as a reporter for Turner Sports, covering the NBA on TNT. Her background of accomplishments and popularity among some fans earns her a spot on this list of top sports reporters.
She covers football and basketball games for Sportstime Ohio, SEC on CBS, and NBA TV. Allie was even awarded an Emmy for her work on the high school football show Friday Night Touchdown. Not only that, but she also holds a Miss Teen USA award from 2005. LaForce has undoubtedly built quite a resume for herself!
One undeniable star on this list is current ESPN correspondent Katie Nolan. This journalist adds her own twist to any show, entertaining the audience with her humorous and creative personality. She even broke a Guinness World Record on Always Late With Katie Nolan for stacking the most doughnuts while blindfolded!
However, Nolan had a bumpy start to her career. The reporter said that she "got [her] job at Guyism by writing a blog about how women suck." Katie has stated that she regrets writing that and has since changed her perspective. Nolan now believes that every woman, including herself, is different and unique.
After finishing her degree at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, McHenry kicked off her career with a job as a sports reporter at ABC and NewsChannel 8. Britt joined ESPN in 2014 for a Washington-based gig where she was seen in sports shows such as SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, and NFL Live.
Despite her success, McHenry was in hot water back in 2015 after she was recorded mocking and verbally bothering a tow truck employee. Britt initially received a suspension from ESPN for the act before she apologized and was allowed to continue working. She currently has a job as a host for WTTG Fox 5.
Andrews started out as a freelance reporter for Fox Sports Florida. Her career took a turn when Erin earned a role as a correspondent on ESPN in 2004, where she also served as a sideline reporter for ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime and Major League Baseball.
Andrews has also been successful in endeavors outside the world of sports, such as modeling. She was able to catch the attention of an audience other than sports fans with her photoshoot for GQ magazine. If that wasn't enough, Erin also won 3rd place in season 10 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars.
Samantha Ponder has a long list of work experience in the sports industry and even got married to former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. She worked as a reporter and host for ESPN college football and as a basketball sideline reporter, before going on to become the host of Sunday NFL Countdown.
Her career started out as early as college, where she began an internship with ABC Sports Radio. Ponder was later offered a job as a sideline reporter for Liberty Flames sports television network while she attended Liberty University. After graduating, Samantha worked for Fox Sports Net and Fox College Sports.
Some recognize her easily from appearances on HLN and CNN programs like Weekend Express and New Day. She also briefly broadcasted the Atlanta Warriors channel live on FoxSports South. Kristina Akra currently works as an in-game reporter for the Washington Nationals.
But before she made the full move to the sports industry, Kristina was also a professional dancer for the Miami Heat. She eventually decided to work full-time as a reporter, covering college basketball for both the Big East and SEC Network, and later on Major League Baseball.
An eclectic sports expert, Curry's knowledge of many types of sports in the industry makes her one of the top reporters in the country. She even played sports year-round from elementary to high school. Alex then went on to complete her BA degree in Journalism Media Studies at San Diego State University.
In 2011, Curry joined FOX Sports West and subsequently became the host of Angels Weekly and Kings Weekly. Her career went up in 2014 when Alex won 3 Telly awards for her work as a sideline reporter for both the Angels and Kings broadcasts. In 2015, Curry co-hosted American Ninja Warrior: Ninja vs. Ninja on USA Network.
This reporter's successful 20 year-long career was bound to gain the attention of several sports fans. Rachel Nichols started as a sportswriter for the Washington Post and Fort Lauderdale Suns-Sentinel. She then moved on to work on the small screen with ESPN in 2004.
Nichols has become an important figure in the industry, with Sports Illustrated calling her "the country's most impactful and prominent female sports journalist." She was also named one of The Hollywood Reporter's "10 Most Powerful Voices in Sports Media." Nichols also created and co-hosted ESPN's The Jump, where she covers the NBA.
There's hardly a corner in the sports industry that Kaylee Hartung hasn't worked in. She's currently a reporter for ABC News and has previously done work for some of the best-known sports networks such as ESPN, the SEC Network, and the Longhorn Network.
Her roots in the industry started out at NBC, where Kaylee began her internship as an assistant before later being promoted to associate producer. Hartung's career was met with success as she later received more important reporting roles she was hoping to achieve.
After landing many jobs at prestigious sports networks, Collins gained media attention from sports fans around the world. She graduated from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism and has since worked many roles like NBA-TV, Turner Sports, and the Big Ten Network.
Although she was already successful, Collins decided she wasn't going to stop there. It wasn't long before the scope of her career also included the NFL, the Winter Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, March Madness, and even the Super Bowl. Melanie is currently focusing her work on covering NFL games.
A broadcast journalism degree from the University of Florida took Laura Rutledge straight from campus to a job in sports reporting. In a matter of time, she was able to earn herself a role as a sports anchor for CNN on shows like New Day and Early Start.
Soon after, Laura was given the opportunity to become a part of the sports industry as she had always wanted. Rutledge joined ESPN, where she began covering every sport on the field, including football, softball, baseball, basketball, and more. In addition to her work as a sports reporter, she was also named Miss Florida 2012.
Molly McGrath is well-known for her flourishing career doing sideline reports for the Boston Celtics before landing a job as an anchor at Fox Sports 1. But before her career began to soar, McGrath's first few steps in the industry started out rather small.
The reporter studied broadcast journalism at Boston College, with dreams of building a career in sports reporting. After graduating, Molly joined ESPN as a production assistant. She eventually earned the love of sports fans and made many accomplishments as a professional reporter in the industry.
Before she became a broadcaster, Charissa Thompson had already begun to gain attention in the world of sports. She was offered a modeling job by Sports Illustrated magazine for a swimsuit issue. From there, her contributions to the sports industry only grew.
Thompson worked as a sideline reporter on the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Net before becoming a panel analyst for ESPN. She also covered the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It's no wonder Charissa gained so much popularity among an international audience.
A former NFL cheerleader, dancer, and actress, Michelle Beisner entered the sports industry with a background that was bound to gain popularity among fans. She started her career as a reporter and host of several shows on ESPN before later joining the NFL Network.
Beisner is also known among sports fans for her acting role in Any Given Sunday, a sports drama movie directed by Oliver Stone. Furthermore, she married the well-known football commentator Joe Buck. After leaving the NFL Network, Michelle was hired as a reporter for ESPN, where she currently works.
Don't let Amanda Pflugrad's young age fool you—this woman's career has advanced well beyond its years in the field of sports journalism. She started out as a host for the Travel Channel before eventually making it to the world of sports and entertainment.
Pflugrad has been featured as a sideline reporter for several types of sports, including volleyball and women's gymnastics. These roles then led to an even bigger one as a correspondent for the New York Jets and later for the Boston Celtics. Her audience has yet to see what challenges she will take on in the future.
A four-year academic scholarship to play softball for the University of Florida sounds like a good start to a career in sports reporting, doesn't it? Jenn Brown would probably answer "yes" to that. Being one of the top ten athletes in Central Florida, where else would she look to start her future?
After graduating, Brown spent eight years as a correspondent for ESPN. She's even explored jobs outside the network, including hosting sports game events like American Ninja Warrior and the X-games. Jenn has also ventured outside the world of sports, landing acting roles in movies and TV shows, as well as modeling in ad campaigns.
This reporter is one that made her way to ESPN with majors that were rather unrelated to sports. Dell grew up in Connecticut and received a degree in hospitality and tourism management from UMass Amherst. What's for sure is that her fans in the sports world love to see the cameras on her during parts of the World Series.
After gaining the attention of different networks while working as an admin for ESPN, she was offered a role as a field reporter at the New England Sports Network. There, Jenny also managed to grab the attention of Red Sox's third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who later became her husband.
Cari Champion has been a basketball fan since way before she started college. She grew up in Pasadena, California, and her love for basketball grew into an enthusiasm for sportscasting. It wasn't long before she landed an impressive internship position at CNN.
Following her graduation, Cari had opportunities coming at her left and right before she decided to join the Tennis Channel. However, having always dreamed of her work involving basketball, she later managed to land a job on ESPN's First Take, in addition to an anchor position on SportsCenter.
Although she might not be known across the country, Lauren Gardner has managed to gain a lot of popularity among sports fans in her home state of Colorado. She graduated from the University of Colorado and began her career as a cheerleader for the Denver Broncos.
Garner eventually managed to make her way to a reporting job at the Denver sports network DAZN, which covers the Avalanche, the Rockies, and the Broncos. From there, her career expanded to include covering a variety of sports, including football, baseball, basketball, and hockey.
It's no wonder that Kristine Leahy, who grew up in Chicago watching Michael Jordan during the peak of his success, would take a liking to basketball and other sports. She's worked hard to become a sports broadcaster, and it's safe to say Kristine's accomplished many of the things she set her mind to.
While Leahy rose to fame as the host of American Ninja Warrior, success followed her to the sports talk show The Herd With Colin Cowherd. She even hosted her very own show, Fair Game With Kristine Leahy, on Fox Sports 1. Although it only lasted a year, her fans still see her on the screen in other sports reporting roles.
Kristen Ledlow's successful career began right after she graduated college: the university grad was offered a job as an anchor on WTXL-TV's the Good News Show. This role later led to even bigger opportunities that brought Kristen closer to fulfilling her dreams.
Kristen became a radio host for ESPN and later a reporter for Florida State football games. Her career soared when she was hired by NBA TV to host NBA Inside Stuff with Grant Hill. Ledlow also took part in the 2014 NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Game and scored twice in the first half for the East team.
This reporter is one who has gained the love of her fans by doing things a bit differently from others. Niki Noto doesn't just report the events; the professional also joins the crowd (literally) in expressing her excitement about the game. It's no wonder she's a fan-favorite for some.
Based in Atlanta, Niki reports for CSS and ESPNU, where she appears on the well-known show ESPNU Road Trip. Her fans love the exciting energy Noto brings to her shows and love seeing her walk among the crowd almost as much as seeing the game itself!
Yet another reporter who started her career with an internship, Lindsay Czarniak worked as a production assistant at CNN while she was still a student in college. She later accepted an opportunity to co-host The George Michael Sports Machine at WRC-TV.
Lindsay's good sense of humor and vast knowledge of sports made her one of the Worldwide Leader's most popular anchors. She's currently a studio host for NASCAR coverage and a sideline reporter for NFL games at Fox Sports. Czarniak has also covered events like the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the NBA Finals.
Ines Sainz is not only a great sports reporter but an outstanding interviewer as well, having met with players from many different sports. A few of these include tennis player Roger Federer, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, and soccer players Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, and others.
Not shockingly, Sainz has covered a variety of sports events throughout her career, such as the World Cup, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the Champions League, and more. It doesn't come as a surprise that she's a very well know personality among sports fans.
Michelle Beadle started out in her hometown of San Antonio, interning for the San Antonio Spurs and later becoming a reporter. In the next few years, she went from being a reporter to a host on several shows, including Get Packing on the Travel Channel and Cathedrals of the Game, MLB Production's magazine show.
In June 2009, Beadle began co-hosting SportsNation at ESPN, alongside Colin Cowherd. She also created her own podcast at the network, called The Michelle Beadle Podcast. In addition, Michelle's had many gigs at NBC for a couple of years before returning to ESPN in 2014.
Many recognize Rebecca Lower as the host of the daily schedule of games at NBC. Her father, longtime BBC News anchor Chris Lowe, certainly passed on many talents to his daughter, who has followed a similar path to his in becoming a sports journalist.
Lowe has also worked at the BBC, Setanta Sports, and ESPN before joining NBC. Not only that, but she's worked several significant sports events, including the 2014 Winter Olympics, the UEFA Euro tournament, the FIFA Women's World Cup, and several World Cups tournaments. It's no wonder Rebecca's gained much attention among sports audiences.
Commonly thought of as one of the top television reporters, Josina Anderson is well-known among American football fans. The reporter covers the NFL for ESPN and is featured on hit shows, including the likes of Sunday NFL Countdown, SportsCenter, and NFL Insiders.
But her work goes well beyond sports. In Josina's podcast Undefined, she holds discussions about topics ranging from fashion to politics to the classic arts (and the NFL, of course). This well-rounded journalist has a lot of knowledge to offer the many fans who love listening to what she has to say.