Berman, Ley & Saunders to Host Special 30th Anniversary SportsCenter in September
On the eve of ESPN’s 30th anniversary, its three SportsCenter anchors of longest service – Chris Berman, Bob Ley and John Saunders – will team to host a special edition of SportsCenter Sunday, Sept. 6 at 11:30 p.m. ET.
The show will be reaired the following morning, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7, starting at 4:30 a.m. and will be seen five times through noon. Live updates with the latest sports news will be inserted.
The 90-minute show will primarily focus on the sports news of the day, and will also include retrospective segments on three decades of ESPN, the trio of veteran anchors and the sports they covered. Ley joined ESPN two days after its September 7, 1979, launch, while Berman soon followed in October. Saunders came to ESPN in 1986.
“These ESPN pillars are three of the most respected professionals in our business,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president, production. “Their contributions to ESPN are endless and it’s great to have them together on this special day.”
Berman has been selected the National Sportscaster of the Year (1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2001) six times by the members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He regularly hosted SportsCenter in ESPN’s first 11 years. He will begin his 24th consecutive season as studio host of Sunday NFL Countdown this fall and has been calling Major League Baseball since 1990.
Ley spearheads ESPN’s aggressive coverage of breaking news and issues. He has hosted the award-winning Outside the Lines since its inception in May 1990. Outside the Lines has captured 10 Sports Emmy Awards and three CableACE Awards as cable’s top Sports Information Series. He’s been a fixture on SportsCenter and continues to host weekend editions.
Saunders is one of ESPN’s most visible and versatile commentators. He plays a prominent role in some of ESPN’s highest-profile sports, including NBA, college football and college basketball studio host and/or play-by-play. In addition, he was named host of Sports Reporters in January 2002. Saunders consistently co-hosted SportsCenter during the 1980s and ‘90s.
30 for 30
The special SportsCenter is not the only anniversary related project. Inspired by ESPN’s 30th anniversary, ESPN Films launched “30 for 30,” an unprecedented documentary series featuring 30 of today’s finest filmmakers telling 30 remarkable stories from the ESPN era. Each of the films will be an intimate look at a specific story, relevant to larger themes from the modern era. Collectively, these films will be a diverse mosaic of what sports has meant to American and world culture in the last 30 years. Each filmmaker will bring their passion and personal point of view to their film detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009. The one-hour films will begin airing Tuesday nights on ESPN in October 2009 and be televised through 2010.