Traditionally, it was not easy for women to get good jobs in sports journalism. One of the reasons for this was old-fashioned sexism. (A woman hanging out in a locker room with a bunch of sweaty foul-mouthed men? Egads!) Another more practical (if less predominant) reason, however, was that for a long time there just weren’t a lot of women who really were sports experts.
Luckily, times have changed. Although there is still a lot of “old fashioned thinking” in the sports world, the powers that be have at least realized that women can be just as knowledgable about sports as men. For that reason, today there are more successful female sports reporters than ever before. Moreover, because the primary viewing audience for sports programming is still predominantly male, these reporters are very, very popular. And when you think about it, why wouldn’t they be? A female sports reporter is pretty much every guy’s dream girl. A smart, attractive woman who also loves sports? Where do I sign up?
Anyway, here we are going to take a look at the most popular female sports reporters in the game today. And of course, there is only one way to gauge a public figure’s popularity these days: Twitter. So the reporters on this list will be ranked according to the size of their Twitter following.
Ready to see who’s made the list? Then let’s get clicking…
Molly has a BA in communications from UConn and a Masters in broadcast journalism from college hockey powerhouse Quinnipiac. So she's obviously very qualified for her gigs as a news anchor on the NFL network and as a reporter for Fuel's UFC coverage.
30. Molly Qerim
Melanie's career went a little off-track since some "scandelous" photos of her partying hard surfaced on the internet. Her website says you can find her on Total College Sports TV these days, as well as on MLB TV doing some freelance reporting. But before that she was probably best known as a reporter for NBA TV.
29. Melanie Collins
A beauty queen who's parlayed pageant success into a successful broadcasting career? No way! Seriously, though, these days you can find McKeeman working Rays baseball games for Fox Sports Florida.
28. Laura McKeeman
I guess being the clubhouse reporter for the Yankees' YES Network will get you a decent Twitter following.
27. Meredith Marakovits
She started out as a sideline reporter covering St. John's basketball, and now Erin is the co-host of CNBC Sports Biz: Game On on the NBC Sports Network.
Oh, and as you probably guessed, she also does some modeling.
26. Erin Sharoni
Maggio is a reporter and anchor for Fox Sports West, but folks on the rest of the continent might have seen her working the sidelines for the NFL on Fox and the NFL Network.
25. Jaime Maggio
Tweeden turned a pretty successful modeling career into a pretty successful broadcasting career. She got her start on Best Dam Sports Show Period back in 2000, then she got a gig hosting Poker After Dark on NBC. Today you can find her doing pre- and post-game coverage for Angels games on Fox Sports West.
24. Leeann Tweeden
This Toronto native got her start with Canadian sports channel The Score covering the WWE. Then the WWE itself hired her to host a bunch of other programs like Bottom Line and Free For All.
23. Renee Young
It's a total coincidence that two of the three Canadian female sports reporters on this list just happen to come back-to-back. Jennifer Hedger here got her start on reality TV, then got a gig hosting TSN's SportsCentre, where you can still find her today.
22. Jennifer Hedger
Sarah Spain probably doesn't need to put photos like this on her website in order to be popular. She's got a background in sports (ran track in college) and an Ivy League education (Cornell). But the photo probably doesn't hurt.
Who does she work for? Well, the hat is a clue—it's ESPN Chicago.
21. Sarah Spain
If you watch the NFL Network a lot, then you're very familiar with Michelle Beisner. She hosts NFL Weekly Countdown and serves as a field reporter for various other programs.
20. Michelle Beisner
Jenny Dell covers the Red Sox on NESN. Obviously, she's pretty popular with Sox Nation.
19. Jenny Dell
Doesn't 51,102 seem like kind of a small Twitter following for such a gorgeous television personality? I mean, I know she's just on Sky Sports News, which is a 24-hour sports news channel in the UK, but still.
18. Olivia Godfrey
Watney got her start covering the Red Sox at NESN. Now she's a host and reporter on MLB Network after a very brief stint at Time Warner's SportsNet.
17. Heidi Watney
Czarniak definitely paid her dues. She put in six years with the Washington, D.C. NBC afiliate before getting her coveted SportCenter gig with ESPN in 2011.
16. Lindsay Czarniak
As Josina proudly indicates at the top of her Twitter feed, she's not just any old ESPN reporter. She's an Emmy-winning ESPN reporter. So there you go.
15. Josina Anderson
As you can see, now we're getting to the heavyweights. And it just so happens that at #14 and #13 we have two ESPN SportsCenter anchors in a row.
First up is Hannah Storm, who only recently came back on the air after suffering serious burns to her face and upper body when her gas barbecue grill exploded. Welcome back, Hannah.
14. Hannah Storm
Linda Cohn edges out her ESPN colleague Hannah Storm, despite the fact that Hannah Storm is probably the second-greatest name in the history of broadcast journalism (after Wolf Blitzer). Cohn's popularity must have something to do with the fact that she's been with ESPN since the dawn of time...which is to say, 1992.
13. Linda Cohn
Charissa Thompson hosts ESPN's SportsNation with Marcellus Wiley. As you may know, SportsNation is a very good platform for a sports journalist. The last woman to hold this gig is also on this list—but a lot higher.
12. Charissa Thompson
At first I had trouble finding this College GameDay reporter on Twitter, and I was like, "come on, she's got to be on there, right?" Then I realized my mistake: I was searching for Samantha Steele, but in December she got married to the Vikings' Christian Ponder and has now taken his name.
In any case, given her high-profile gig and her apparently excellent broadcasting abilities, I'd expect Samantha's popularity to grow over the next several years.
11. Samantha Steele Ponder
Jenn Brown is athletic (played softball in college), smart (graduated summa cum laude), and gorgeous (see above photo). However, one thing she is not is an employee of ESPN. Just last week it was announced that she and ESPN had parted ways. Why, and where is she going? That's unknown at this point, but there has been speculation that she was lured away by Fox, what with their new national sports network Fox Sports 1 set to launch on August 17. So stay tuned.
10. Jenn Brown
Charlotte Jackson is a "presenter" (as they say in the UK) on Sky Sports News. I've never seen her work, but I think I understand why she's so popular.
9. Charlotte Jackson
Canadian Jillian Barberie hasn't really been a "sports reporter" for quite some time. But what can I say? Once a Fox NFL Sunday weather girl, always a Fox NFL Sunday weather girl.
8. Jillian Barberie
Don't you wish having some old dude talk about how hot you are on national television could get you a job? Cause that's what happened to Katherine Webb. Prior to the National Championship game almost nobody knew who she was. Then Brent Musberger professed his love for her on live TV, and all of a sudden she's working the Super Bowl for Inside Edition.
7. Katherine Webb
Rachen Nichols recently left ESPN and started a gig with Time Warner, working for both CNN and covering basketball for TNT.
6. Rachel Nichols
Inés Sainz reports for CNN en Español and Azteca Deportes. I have no idea if she's any good because, like Ron Burgundy, you know I don't speak Spanish. However, she looks like a very talented journalist who doesn't rely on her looks at all.
5. Inés Sainz
Oh, and speaking of female sports journalists who don't rely on their looks, meet Jimena Sanchez. She works for Fox Sports Mexico, and this is her uniform.
4. Jimena Sanchez
You know, at this point I'm starting to notice a trend: sexy latin sports reporters are really popular on the Twitters. Marisol Gonzalez of Televisa Deportes, Mexico's contestant at the 2003 Miss Universe pageant, is no exception.
3. Marisol Gonzalez
Remember when I said hosting ESPN's SportsNation was a good platform for stepping up your career? Well, it was Michelle Beadle I had in mind. These days, of course, you can find her hosting The Crossover on NBC Sports, but she made her name (and her Twitter following) over at ESPN.
2. Michelle Beadle
We all figured Erin Andrews would be #1. She's the only female sports reporter I would consider a genuine "household name." However, I did not think she would have 1,000,000 more followers than the next person on the list. That's just insane.
1. Erin Andrews
Erin Andrews, sideline reporter, sports reporter, women in sports,