ESPN has wrapped up one its longest-serving personalities. John Saunders, who joined the sports giant in 1986, has signed a multiyear contract extension. He will continue to work on ESPN’s college football coverage and anchor sibling ABC’s regular season Saturday programming. Saunders also will do play-by-play on some NCAA basketball games and stay on as host of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters.
“I’m closing in on 40 years as a sportscaster … but I am most proud of the 28 plus years I’ve spent as part of our family here at ESPN,” Saunders said. “Bob (Ley), Boomer (Chris Berman) and I all started on SportsCenter, and the three of us are coming up on a combined 101 years at ESPN. How many places can say that? This is home.”
During his ESPN career, Saunders has announced or hosted coverage of myriad sports, including the NHL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and college football and basketball. The Toronto native also is a founding member of the V Foundation for Cancer Research and serves on the board of directors.
“John has done it all during his exceptional career,” said Mark Gross, SVP Production and Remote Events. “Fans have become accustomed to his smooth and informative approach, and we are thrilled he will build upon his amazing run at ESPN.”
As ESPN has lost three high-profile on-air stars in recent months in Colin Cowherd, Keith Olbermann and Bill Simmons but has signed others to long-term deals including Jeremy Schaap, Suzy Kolber and Trey Wingo.