ESPN canceling The Sports Reporters after nearly 30 years on air
ESPN is canceling The Sports Reporters, SI.com has learned. The show is expected to end in May, just shy of 30 years on the air.
ESPN, through a spokesman, declined to comment.
The long-running sports talk show began in 1988 and was a forerunner of the flood of shows that run in most major cities featuring members of the media debating, discussing and bloviating the news and issues of the week. What set the show apart—outside of many egoists that floated as panelists—was two hosts that gave the show gravitas: Dick Schaap, who hosted from 1989 to 2001; and John Saunders, who hosted from 2001 until his death in 2016.
ESPN will replace The Sports Reporters with an hour-long version of E:60, its long-running sports journalism magazine show. Outside The Lines is also expected to have a role in that show.
No panelist appeared on the show more than Mike Lupica, who is serving as the current host. Other sports media members who often took up residency included Mitch Albom, Bob Ryan, William C. Rhoden, the late Bryan Burwell, John Feinstein, and Bill Conlin, the disgraced Philadelphia columnist sports columnist who was accused of molesting children as far back as the 1970s prior to his death in 2014.
For years the show featured no women as regular panelists. That improved marginally in the last couple of years.