Female Sportscasters
by Laura Nachman
Philadelphia Metro<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

December 29, 2005


Female sportscasters are slowly working their way into the starting lineup in the world of television. 


Within the last month, two women – Jamie Apody and Jade McCarthy - were hired for the sports departments for local stations 6ABC and NBC10. 


Even the latest “Survivor,” Danni Boatwright, gave exposure to her profession, as her job title, “Sports Radio Talk Show Host” was plastered on the screen for millions of households to see every week.


Former WB17 news director, Rich Scott, the first Philadelphia broadcast news director to hire a female for a regular sports role here five years ago (weekend sports anchor Jenna Wolfe) has some reasons.


“Though they still represent a minority, the number of female sports reporters and anchors around the country has grown significantly since I hired Jenna nearly five years ago.  It’s only fitting, since there are an awful lot of female sports fans and viewers out there.  It stopped becoming a "novelty" as more and more news directors understood how a competent, knowledgeable, female sports anchor can help build audience.  Its really that simple.”


Comcast SportsNet’s Dei Lynam, 39, is one of two female anchors for the sports channel, which begin in 1997.  Besides her role as an anchor and sideline reporter for Sixers games, she has been the play-by-play announcer for the Washington Mystics WNBA team for eight years.


“Things have evolved since my first on-air job in 1992.  First, the industry has changed.  With cable, there are more opportunities.  There is never just one woman in a locker room anymore.  Second, there are more women playing sports today.” And there are lots of women working in behind-the-scenes positions,” she said.


Next year’s “Monday Night Football” broadcasting team on ESPN will feature two men and two women – Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya.


There are three women on ESPN who anchor and do play-by-play – Linda Cohn, Pam Ward, and Beth Mowins.


Though women have made strides, there are still a few barriers. We are waiting for a woman to do play-by-play for a network and though there is an increase of women on sports staffs, there are very few sports directors at broadcast stations around the country.