Millions of sports fans tune in every day to watch ESPN’s flagship show “Sportscenter.” Sportscenter has been on the airwaves for decades and has created minor celebrities out of anchors such as Chris Berman, Stuart Scott, Dan Patrick, Keith Olberman, and Scott Van Pelt. All of these current and former anchors started out in regular broadcast journalism jobs and made their way to the top of the sports reporting world. Many people want to know how to become a Sportscenter anchor so here’s the rundown of how to make it happen.
Sportscenter anchors typically go to a four year university or college and get a bachelor’s degree in journalism. What most people need to understand is that it typically takes a number of years starting out in radio or television in small market towns to learn the business before getting a shot at the Sportscenter anchor or reporter desk.
ESPN does have interships for students, which is a great way to get your foot in the door and make contacts at the network. Check constantly on their website and with the career services office at your college or university.
Sportscenter legend Dan Patrick says it is best to get a job reporting on television or radio where you have to write a lot. He said that Sportscenter anchors write everything they say and have to be excellent writers that can come up with material very quickly.
He also says that people need to create an audition tape and constantly update it. He said that many people watch the show and think it’s an easy job and all you have to do is love sports. He says that you have to be a fan, but you have to have a deep knowledge of all sports and teams and that is a lot of work. Patrick went on to say anchoring is one of the most competitive jobs there is.
ESPN was recently voted one of the most innovative companies to work for and is known for being on the cutting edge of programming. This means you have to show the propensity of being able to think outside the box and be a unique yet professional talent.
Once you feel you are ready you should apply for a position at ESPN. You may start out as a sideline reporter or even an off-camera job. The one thing Patrick mentioned most was having the ability to write quickly and effectively in an entertaining way.