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The 40 Most Popular Female Sports Reporters

Amber LeeSports Lists Lead WriterFebruary 8, 2013

The 40 Most Popular Female Sports Reporters

1 of 41

    Most sports fans aren't tuning in to watch their favorite sport to see the seductive sideline reporter. And they probably aren't clicking over to ESPN to see which of its statuesque blondes is co-anchoring the latest edition of SportsCenter. 

    It's the same reason nobody tunes in to see Phil Simms or Joe Buck blather on during their live game broadcasts—except that many of the women in the broadcast media are a welcome addition to the sports world rather than a plague on it. 

    There are more women holding prominent positions in the sports media today than ever before. Some have already found unprecedented success, while many others are stars on the rise who are just getting started. 

    Here are the 40 most popular female sports reporters today. 

    Oh! And if I missed your favorite, let me know on Twitter: 

Kristen Ledlow, Fox Sports

2 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports
    Past Experience:
    ESPN Tallahassee
    Twitter ID:
    @KristenLedlow
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 3,000

    Did You Know:

    Kristen Ledlow is a former collegiate athlete and graduate of Southeastern University. She was also the third runner up in the 2010 Miss Florida USA pageant and a former Miss Capital City USA.

    Ledlow freelanced as a reporter for both ESPN and NBC before landing a job with Fox Sports Florida. She currently works as a field reporter covering SEC and ACC football and basketball. 

Amanda Pflugrad, Total College Sports

3 of 41

    Current Employer: Total College Sports
    Past Experience:
    Fox Sports Arizona
    Twitter ID:
    @AmandaPflugrad
    Twitter Followers:
    Approaching 5,000

    Did You Know:

    Amanda Pflugrad has been working in broadcasting for the last several years. But since she's mostly been working in regional markets, she is probably most recognizable from her days as one of the University of Oregon's most beautiful cheerleaders. 

    That's no small distinction if you're familiar with the Ducks' cheerleaders. Pflugrad created a major stir back in 2009, after pictures of an alcohol-soaked bikini booze cruise started making their rounds on the Web. You'll have to find them on your own if that interests you—her lawyer shut that whole thing down. 

Carolyn Manno, NBC Sports

4 of 41

    Current Employer: NBC Sports
    Past Experience:
    Comcast SportsNet New England
    Twitter ID:
    @carolynmanno
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 5,000

    Did You Know:

    Until recently, Carolyn Manno worked as an anchor and reporter for both Comcast SportsNet and CSNNE in Boston. She covered all of the major sports teams in the area, including the epic 2011 Red Sox collapse. 

    Manno is relatively unknown on the national level at the moment, but she was a late-season addition to NBC's Football Night in America in 2012. In the future, she will be covering college football and basketball for the network, as well as extreme sports. 

Lauren Gardner, CBS Sports

5 of 41

    Current Employer: CBS Sports
    Past Experience:
    Fox Sports & MTV
    Twitter ID:
    @LGRed
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 5,000

    Did You Know:

    Lauren Gardner is a graduate of the University of Colorado and a former Denver Broncos Cheerleader. She got her start in sports as an In Game Host for the Broncos, Rockies and Avalanche in Denver. 

    Gardner worked for MTV in 2011 covering the now defunct Lingerie Football League before moving on to a job covering, among other things, college footballl for CBS Sports Network. 

Alex Curry, Fox Sports West

6 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports West
    Past Experience:
    Big Ten Network
    Twitter ID:
    @Alex_Curry
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 5,000

    Did You Know:

    Alex Curry is a graduate of San Diego State University who got her start working behind the scenes for Fuel TV, before moving on to a sideline reporting position for NBC Sports Network.

    Currently Curry hosts Angels Weekly and reports for the Los Angeles Kings for Fox Sports West. She's definitely a rising star in the Southern California sports media. 

Erin Hawksworth, Sportsnet Canada

7 of 41

    Current Employer: Sportsnet Canda
    Past Experience:
    KCPQ Seattle
    Twitter ID:
    @ErinHawksworth
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 7,000

    Did You Know:

    Erin Hawksworth got her start working as a sports reporter for local network affiliates in the U.S., including stints at WFXT in Boston and KCPQ Seattle. 

    After 10 years working in the states, Hawksworth finally returned to her native Canada to become a sports anchor/reporter for Rogers Sportsnet in Toronto. Her brother is Blake Hawksworth, pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Kate Longworth, CSN Bay Area

8 of 41

    Current Employer: CSN Bay Area
    Twitter ID:
    @KLongworthCSN
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 7,000 

    Did You Know:

    Kate Longworth is a graduate of the University of Arizona who studied both journalism and Spanish. 

    Currently she works as an anchor and reporter for Comcast SportsNet in the Bay Area. 

Kristina Akra, MASN

9 of 41

    Current Employer: MASN
    Past Experience:
    SEC Network
    Twitter ID:
    @KristinaAkra
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 7,000

    Did You Know:

    Kristina Akra has been working in sports broadcasting dating back to the 2010-11 NCAA basketball season, which she covered as a sideline reporter for CoxSports and the Big East Network, before making the jump to the SEC Network. 

    Today she covers the Washington Nationals on MASN in Washington and serves as a contributor to the local show Nats Xtra. Akra actually got her start working for the New England Patriots' in-house production company, reporting for news shows and updates. 

Britt McHenry, ABC Washington

10 of 41

    Current Employer: ABC7 Washington
    Past Experience:
    Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism
    Twitter ID:
    @BrittMcHenry
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 10,000

    Did You Know:

    Britt McHenry grew up on Florida's east coast, loves baseball and football, and is a devoted fan of the hapless Miami Dolphins.

    She played Division 1 soccer while attending Stetson University for her undergraduate studies and modeled on the side to help pay the bills. 

Kristine Leahy, CBS Los Angeles/KTLA

11 of 41

    Current Employer: CBS Los Angeles
    Past Experience:
    WEEI Boston
    Twitter ID:
    @KristineLeahy
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 10,000

    Did You Know:

    Kristine Leahy is a Boston native who got her start covering covering sports for Boston University's campus television station while attending college there. 

    She traded the Celtics in for the Lakers in September and seems to be enjoying the sunny SoCal skies so far. 

Niki Noto, PGA.Com

12 of 41

    Current Employer: PGA.Com
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @NikiNoto
    Twitter Followers: 
    More than 10,000

    Did You Know:

    University of Alabama graduate Niki Noto worked for the Tennessee Titans and the Atlanta Falcons before landing a job as part of the crew for ESPNY's Roadtrip and later co-hosting duties on GBP's Sports Central. 

    More recently Noto has been hosting the PGA's weekly Web series Weekly Golf Buzz on its website. The show has a news format, and she runs down all the golf stories making headlines. Well…making headlines might be a stretch. How about...the stories creating a very minor buzz in the golf world.

Rebecca Harlow, Fox Sports/NFL Network

13 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports/NFL Network
    Past Experience:
    Big Ten Network
    Twitter ID:
    @RebeccaHaarlow
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 15,000 (12,128)

    Did You Know:

    Rebecca Harlow is a graduate of Prince University where she was a collegiate athlete who once won the Ivy League Heptathalon. 

    She was hired by the NFL Network in August 2011 and currently works as a reporter and is the host of NFL Network Now. 

Missy Deyo, Kingston Frontenacs

14 of 41

    Current Employer: Kingston Frontenacs
    Past Experience:
    Freelance Journalist
    Twitter ID:
    @MissyDeyo
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 20,000

    Did You Know:

    Canadian cutie Missy Deyo is the co-owner of the sports blog BabesDigBalls and currently works as the social media coordinator for the Kingston Frontenacs junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. Her work in sports has helped her build a loyal and active Twitter following—but it's not only sports. 

    Many of her fans have become particularly invested in Deyo because of a life-threatening condition that cost her a kidney in December 2012. She has bravely chronicled much of her struggles on her blog and manages to stay in remarkably good spirits, considering the difficulties she's faced. 

Molly Qerim, CBS Sports/NFL Network

15 of 41

    Current Employer: CBS Sports, NFL Network & UFC
    Past Experience:
    ESPN & Versus
    Twitter ID:
    @MollyQerim
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 15,000

    Did You Know:

    Molly Qerim is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and has been working in broadcasting since 2007. She was one of the first women to step into the world of MMA and has co-hosted the world MMA Awards since 2011. 

    Qerim works as a news anchor for the NFL Network, but she got her start working as a fantasy football reporter and correspondent for ESPN2 and ESPNU. 

Meredith Marakovits, YES

16 of 41

    Current Employer: YES
    Past Experience:
    Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia
    Twitter ID:
    @M_Marakovits
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 20,000

    Did You Know:

    Meredith Marakovits is a graduate of La Salle University, which she attended on a NCAA Division 1 volleyball scholarship. She has bounced back between Philadelphia and New York City in recent years, working for Comcast SportsNet in both cities, as well as occasionally in New England. 

    Marakovits also was a contributor to a number of sports programs on WFAN New York. She's been working as the New York Yankees clubhouse reporter for the YES Network since replacing Kim Jones after the 2011 season. 

Laura McKeeman, Fox Sports Florida

17 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports Florida
    Past Experience:
    WRUF Sports Radio
    Twitter ID:
    @LauraMcKeeman
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 20,000 

    Did You Know:

    Laura McKeeman is a former ballet dancer and a graduate of the University of Florida who majored in broadcast journalism. She is also a former beauty queen who was named Miss Suncoast 2010 and a semi-finalist at the Miss Florida pageant later that year. 

    McKeeman is currently working for Fox Sports Interactive and Fox Sports Florida covering college football recruiting, basketball and baseball. She is also a member of the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday broadcast team.

Renee Paquette-Young, WWE

18 of 41

    Current Employer: WWE
    Past Experience:
    The Score
    Twitter ID:
    @ReneeYoungWWE
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 25,000

    Did You Know:

    Renee Paquette-Young was hired by the WWE in October to serve as an on-air personality and studio analyst. However, she's not exactly new to the sport. 

    Young had worked at the Score Television Network in Canada on the WWE post-game show Aftermath. In interviews, she has said she has loved wrestling since junior high. 

Erin Sharoni, NBC Sports

19 of 41

    Current Employer: Showtime Sports & NBC Sports
    Past Experience:
    RedStormSports.com
    Twitter ID:
    @ErinSharoni
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 25,000

    Did You Know:

    Erin Sharoni used her job covering St. John's sports as a springboard into co-hosting duties on CNBC's Sports Biz and a correspondent position on Jim Rome on Showtime, but she didn't always work in sports. 

    Believe it or not, Sharoni actually worked as a Wall Street equities trader at Bear Stearns—she was there when the firm went under during the banking crisis. I think we can all agree she made an excellent career decision in leaving that field. 

Sara Carbonero, Telecinco

20 of 41

    Current Employer: Telecinco Spain
    Twitter ID:
    @SCarboneroWeb
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 30,000

    Did You Know:

    Sara Carbonero covers sports for the Telecinco network in Spain, most notably the 2010 FIFA World Cup—when it was widely reported that her presence distracted her fiancé, Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, costing them a game against Switzerland. 

    You'd think Casillas would have gotten used to her beauty at some point—but bringing Carbonero into the discussion is much more interesting than saying the Swiss played a better game. 

Jaime Maggio, Fox Sports West/NFL Network

21 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports West & NFL Network
    Past Experience:
    CBS2 Los Angeles
    Twitter ID:
    @jaimemaggio
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 30,000

    Did You Know:

    Jaime Maggio has become one of the most popular faces in sports media on the West Coast. She's moved up quickly from the regional ranks to national sports coverage. 

    That's probably because she does pretty much everything. Maggio has done NFL sideline reporting for Fox, covered the NBA Playoffs for TNT, the MLB for TBS and the NCAA tournament for Turner Sports. She must be exhausted. 

Jennifer Hedger, TSN Canada

22 of 41

    Current Employer: The Sports Network Canada
    Past Experience:
    Rogers Television
    Twitter ID:
    @jenniferhedger
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 30,000

    Did You Know:

    Jennifer Hedger is an Ontario native who got her start in sports at Rogers Television as an on-air talent and the host of OHL Primetime in the late 90s. 

    Hedger found some success in reality television as well as acting before landing a job with TSN Canada. Currently she works as a co-host of TSN's SportsCentre—a job she has been doing since 2002. 

Sarah Spain, ESPN Chicago

23 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN Chicago
    Past Experience:
    WGN-TV Chicago
    Twitter ID:
    @SarahSpain
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 40,000

    Did You Know:

    Sarah Spain is kind of a smartie pants. She attended the Ivy League's Cornell University, where she was a collegiate scholar as well as an accomplished athlete, serving as co-captain of the track and field team. 

    Before settling down in Chicago, Spain left the Midwest and spent six years in Los Angeles, where she pursued acting and did freelance sports reporting for Fox Sports. 

Michelle Beisner, NFL Network

24 of 41

    Current Employer: NFL Network
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @MichelleBeisner
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 50,000

    Did You Know:

    Michelle Beisner is a former Denver Broncos cheerleader who represented the team at the 1999 Pro Bowl and toured with the USO on a number of occasions during her four year tenure. 

    Beisner has worked for almost every network out there at this point, including: Fo Sports, Comcast, the Speed Channel, ESPN, CBS, NBC and ABC. Currently she works for the NFL Network as an anchor and field reporter NFL Total Access and NFL Weekly Countdown. 

Heidi Watney, MLB Network

25 of 41

    Current Employer: MLB Network
    Past Experience:
    NESN Boston
    Twitter ID:
    @HeidiWatney
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 50,000

    Did You Know:

    Heidi Watney actually left NESN to cover the Lakers for Time Warner Cable in Los Angeles in November 2011 but was let go before ever covering a game. 

    No word on why things didn't work out, but Watney did audition to be the mediator of ESPN screamfest FirstTake before being hired by the MLB Network in November.

Jenny Dell, NESN

26 of 41

    Current Employer: NESN Boston
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @JennyDellNESN
    Twitter Followers:
    Approaching 50,000

    Did You Know:

    After graduating from UMass, Jenny Dell was hired by ESPN for an administrative position in the company's marketing department. 

    She was spotted by an eagle-eyed employee in the ESPN cafeteria who approached her about working on-air, doing weekly fantasy segments that led to a more regular role. 

Lindsay Czarniak, ESPN

27 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN
    Past Experience:
    NBC4 Washington
    Twitter ID:
    @lindsayczarniak
    Twitter Followers: 
    More than 50,000

    Did You Know:

    Lindsay Czarniak got her start covering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for TNT and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing for NBC. 

    Sorry, boys; she's taken. Czarniak is married to MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin. The two met on the job while working as anchors for NBC4 News Washington. 

Olivia Godfrey, Sky Sports News

28 of 41

    Current Employer: Sky Sports News
    Past Experience:
    Warner Brothers
    Twitter ID:
    @oliviajgodfrey
    Twitter Followers: 
    More than 50,000

    Did You Know:

    English beauty Olivia Godrey studied at UCLA and interred at Warner Bros Records in Los Angeles before returning to London in 2011 to become a presenter at Sky Sports News. 

    She's also quite active in the fashion world, having produced content for Elle and Vogue and presented at the British Fashion Awards.

Josina Anderson, ESPN

29 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN
    Past Experience:
    Showtime & Fox 31 Denver
    Twitter ID:
    @JosinaAnderson
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 60,000

    Did You Know:

    Josina Anderson served as an on-air reporter for Showtime's Inside the NFL for just one year before being hired to cover the NFL for ESPN in August 2011. 

    She's a graduate of the University of North Carolina and, thanks to the departure of Rachel Nichols, has recently become one of ESPN's most visible reporters—thanks in small part to that sexy library look she rocks so well.

Samantha Ponder, ESPN

30 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN
    Past Experience:
    ESPN's Longhorn Network
    Twitter ID:
    @samsteeleponder
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 150,000

    Did You Know:

    Samantha Ponder is a graduate of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Virginia. 

    She is married to Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who got hitched after a very brief public romance in December. They musta been in a rush to do something.

Charissa Thompson, ESPN

31 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN
    Past Experience:
    Big Ten Network
    Twitter ID:
    @CharissaT
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 120,000

    Did You Know:

    Charissa Thompson actually got her start at Fox Sports, where she spent four years covering football and serving as a correspondent for The Best Damn Sports Show Period

    She was hired by ESPN in 2011 and logged hours all over the network before she became the heir apparent to Michelle Beadle, whom she replaced as host of SportsNation in 2012. When Colin Cowherd left, Thompson became the show's first-billed star when it relocated to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. 

Jenn Brown, ESPN

32 of 41

    Current Employer: ESPN
    Past Experience:
    Showtime Sports
    Twitter ID:
    @JennBrown
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 175,000

    Did You Know:

    Jenn Brown graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida, which she attended on a full academic scholarship and where she was an accomplished student-athlete. 

    She has worked occasionally as a model, but turned down an opportunity to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 2010. Brown is married to actor Wes Chatham and has won two Emmy Awards since being hired by ESPN. 

Charlotte Jackson, Sky Sports News

33 of 41

    Current Employer: Sky Sports London
    Past Experience:
    Setanta Sports
    Twitter ID:
    @CharLouJackson
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 225,000

    Did You Know:

    Charlotte Jackson has been working as the lead presenter on Sky Sports News for several years, but she didn't initially set out to pursue a career in broadcasting. 

    She was once in an English girl band called Nebula 101 and had been studying to become a medical doctor. Jackson is dating Wales manager and former footballer Chris Coleman. 

Jillian Barberie, Formerly of Good Day L.A.

34 of 41

    Current Employer: N/A
    Past Experience:
    KTLA & Fox Sports
    Twitter ID:
    @askjillian
    Twitter Followers: 
    Over 250,000

    Did You Know:

    Jillian Barberie had been the sports reporter for the morning show Good Day L.A. for nearly two decades when her abrupt departure was announced in October. The circumstances surrounding the exit were a bit mysterious. 

    She had announced that she was let go by Fox 11 via Twitter, but later clarified that she wasn't "let go" as in "fired," without elaborating. Curious is the fact that Barberie doesn't list any of her work in sports in her bio on her official website. 

Katherine Webb, Inside Edition

35 of 41

    Current Employer: Freelance Reporter/Inside Edition
    Past Experience:
    Beauty Pageants
    Twitter ID: @_KatherineWebb
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 275,000

    Did You Know:

    Auburn graduate Katherine Webb, a former Miss Alabama, stole the spotlight from her boyfriend, University of Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, when ESPN's Brent Musburger gushed over her throughout most of the BCS Championship in January 2013. 

    She quickly landed a gig covering the Super Bowl for Inside Edition and a place in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Recent rumors have suggested Webb and McCarron might be engaged and that she might be considering appearing in Playboy. 

    Nothing has been confirmed, but you know Brent Musburger is sure hoping the second rumor is true. 

Inés Sainz, TV Azteca

36 of 41

    Current Employer: TV Azteca Mexico
    Twitter ID:
    @InesSainzG
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 275,000

    Did You Know:

    Inés Sainz may be best known in the U.S. as the reporter at the center of the Jets controversy in 2010, in which quarterback Mark Sanchez and other members of the team reportedly made her feel uncomfortable while she was covering them in New York. The story got widespread coverage, but she later downplayed the whole incident. 

    But Sainz's popularity south of the boarder is much more more universal. Her official bio says she is "widely known as the Woman of Sports in Mexico." I'm not how many women of sports there are in Mexico, but that sounds pretty impressive.  

Jimena Sanchez, Fox Sports Mexico

37 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports Mexico
    Twitter ID: @jimenaofficial
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 400,000 (390)

    Did You Know:

    Most of what's written about the lovely Jimena Sanchez is in Spanish? Well it is. 

    But I do know that she works for Fox Sports Mexico and is a self-proclaimed "mad mamacita."

Rachel Nichols, CNN/Turner Sports

38 of 41

    Current Employer: Turner Sports
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @Rachel__Nichols
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 400,000

    Did You Know:

    Rachel Nichols surprised many when the announcement that she was leaving ESPN after a decade for a position at CNN came abruptly in January. 

    She has already been sent to cover Super Bowl XLVII for the network and is expected to contribute to a host of Turner Sports coverage. Nichols is also slated to anchor a weekend sports show on TBS later this year. 

Marisol Gonzalez, Televisa Deportes

39 of 41

    Current Employer: Televisa Deportes
    Twitter ID:
    @marisolglzz
    Twitter Followers: 
    More than 450,000

    Did You Know:

    Marisol Gonzalez is a former beauty queen who represented her native Mexico at the 2003 Miss Universe pageant, held in Panama City, Panama. She works occasionally as an actress or mode, but is a full-time sports reporter for the television network Televisa Deportes. 

    If Gonzalez looks familiar, it may be from when she upstaged fellow Mexican sports beauty Sainz at the Super Bowl in 2012. The story was widely reported after she stole the show at Media Day. 

Michelle Beadle, NBC Sports

40 of 41

    Current Employer: NBC Sports
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @MichelleDBeadle
    Twitter Followers: 
    More than 700,000

    Did You Know:

    Michelle Beadle followed her nemesis, Erin Andrews, out the backdoor of ESPN's Bristol compound in May 2012. Unless you've really been looking for her, it's quite possible you haven't seen her since. 

    Beadle has been working as an occasional correspondent for the tabloid news show Access Hollywood, and her NBC show The Crossover premiered with relatively little fanfare in January 2012. Oh, and it's terrible. 

Erin Andrews, Fox Sports

41 of 41

    Current Employer: Fox Sports
    Past Experience:
    ESPN
    Twitter ID:
    @erinandrews
    Twitter Followers: 
    Approaching 2 million

    Did You Know:

    Actually, you probably already know Erin Andrews whole story. She worked for ESPN before ditching the worldwide leader, her employer of more than eight years at the time, for Fox Sports in 2012. She also appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

    Andrews got her start in broadcasting at Fox Sports Florida in 2000, where she worked as a freelance reporter after graduating from the University of Florida. Her performance on Fox in 2012 had mixed reviews, but it doesn't seem to have impacted her overall popularity.

     

    Not nearly as popular on Twitter? Me...Amber Lee. Help me out, okay? 

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