The sports media industry is reeling today at the news of the death of one of ESPN’s more prominent personalities.
The Bristol, Connectitut-based national cable sports network announced today that John Saunders, who had been with the network for 30 years and was one of their most versatile hosts, having been a part of the network’s college football, professional hockey, baseball and basketball coverage throughout his career, and also moderating their weekly Sunday morning show “The Sports Reporters”, featuring a discussion of top sports topics with national sports writers and broadcasters.
In a statement, the network’s president, John Skipper, offered condolences. “John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades. His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research. He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time,” Skipper said.
As noted by the ESPN head, Saunders was on the board for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization formed to help aid in efforts to combat cancer.
Saunders is survived by his wife and two children. The cause of Saunders’ death was not announced. He was 61.