The 2019 TVNewser Bracket Challenge … Who’s In?

By A.J. Katz 

The TVNewser Bracket Challenge is back for its 11th year as the 2019 NCAA college basketball tournament tips off this afternoon.

That first year we had just nine players, from seven networks. ABC News’s Rick Klein was crowed the champ. He tweeted it was “among my prouder accomplishments.”

The number ballooned to 47 players in 2018. NBC News’ Willie Geist walked away from the 2018 TVNewser Bracket Challenge as champ, telling us, “As I stand here covered in confetti, and the sweet sweat from a Donte DiVincenzo hug, I can tell you the reality exceeds the dream. I accept your cash prize with gratitude and humility …  and preferably in nonsequential 50-dollar bills.”

Geist finished the tournament with 140 points, and was one of 10 participants who correctly predicted Villanova would win it all in 2018.

A Zion Williamson-led Duke is the No. 1 overall seed in the 2019 tournament, and easily the most popular pick to win it all.

But will Duke win? This is March Madness, after all …

Below, are this year’s participants. We’ll keep you updated on who’s leading throughout the tourney.

Team Bloomberg

  • Tom Keene (Co-host, Bloomberg Surveillance)
  • Scarlet Fu (Anchor)
  • Jason Kelly (New York bureau chief)
  • Jonathan Ferro (Anchor)
  • Vonnie Quinn (Anchor)


  • Andrew Ross Sorkin (Co-host, Squawk Box)
  • Joe Kernen (Co-host, Squawk Box)
  • Becky Quick (Co-host, Squawk Box)
  • Brian Steel (Evp of public relations)
  •  Brian Sullivan (Anchor, Worldwide Exchange)
  •  Dan Colarusso (svp of business news)
  • Dominic Chu (Markets reporter)
  • Jessica Golden (Senior producer)
  • Matthew Quayle (Senior ep, program development)
  • Sara Eisen (Anchor, Squawk on the Street / Closing Bell)
  • Tyler Mathisen (Co-anchor, Power Lunch)
  • Todd Bonin (Executive producer, Squawk on the Street)

Team CNN / HLN

  • John Berman (Co-host, CNN New Day)
  • Bob Van Dillen (Meterologist, HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade)
  • Dianne Gallagher (CNN correspondent)
  • Lynn Smith (Anchor, HLN’s On the Story)
  • Melissa Knowles (HLN anchor/correspondent)

Team Fox News

  • Jared Max (Sports reporter)
  • Trey Yingst (Foreign correspondent)
  • Kevin Corke (White House correspondent)
  • Kristin Fisher (Correspondent)
  • Peter Doocy (Correspondent)
  • Todd Piro (Fox & Friends host/correspondent)
  • Abby Hornacek (Host, Fox Nation)

Team Fox Business

  • Stuart Varney (Anchor, Varney & Co.)
  • Liz Claman (Anchor, Closing Bell with Liz Claman)
  • Susan Li (Business correspondent)
  • Edward Lawrence (General assignment reporter)


  • Craig Melvin (Today anchor / MSNBC Live anchor)
  • Dylan Dreyer (Saturday Today co-host)
  • Hallie Jackson (Chief White House correspondent)
  • Janelle Rodriguez (svp of editorial)
  • Kasie Hunt ( NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent / Host, MSNBC’s Kasie DC)
  • Peter Alexander (NBC News White House correspondent / Saturday Today co-host)
  • Willie Geist (Host, Sunday Today / Co-host MSNBC’s Morning Joe)

Team PBS

  • Judy Woodruff (PBS NewsHour anchor and managing editor)
  • Michael Rancillo (Svp/general manager, PBS NewsHour)

Team Weather Channel

  • Stephanie Abrams (On-camera meterologist)
  • Alex Wallace (On-camera meterologist)
  • Alex Wilson (On-camera meterologist)
  • Paul Goodloe (On-camera meteorologist)

Team TVNewser/Adweek

  • A.J. Katz, editor, TVNewser | TV reporter, Adweek