ESPN is canceling its longtime Sunday morning round table discussion program The Sports Reporters after almost 30 years on air. The program is set to end in May. Sports Illustrated first reported the news, and retired Boston Globe sportswriter and frequent panelist Bob Ryan confirmed yesterday via tweet:
Yes, it’s true. Final “Sports Reporters” May 7. It changed my life 28 years ago. I’m very grateful to Joe Valerio for including me.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) January 23, 2017
The Sports Reporters premiered on ESPN in 1988, and features a rotating panel of top sports journalists from newspapers and media outlets across the nation who discuss and debate the top sports stories of the week.
The program also stood out for its moderators. Iconic sports journalist Dick Schaap hosted the program from 1989 to 2001, and John Saunders hosted the program from 2001 until his passing late last year.
The Worldwide Leader will replace The Sports Reporters with an hour-long edition of E:60, its sports magazine program.
No panelist appeared on the show more often than longtime New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica, who serves as the current host. Lupica occasionally appears on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Other sports media figures who often appeared on the program included Detroit Free Press sports columnist Mitch Albom, Ryan (who still regularly appears on ESPN’s Around the Horn, and other ESPN discussion shows), and former New York Times sportswriter William C. Rhoden, among others.
Last year, the program broadcasted its first-ever all-female edition, featuring ESPN journalists Jane McManus, Jemele Hill, Sarah Spain, and Kate Fagan.