A sports fanatic turned into a sports anchor, you won’t find a better story than this. Linda Cohn is the longest-tenured and most prolific anchor of ESPN’s SportsCenter, having hosted more than 5,000 episodes since 1992. She is also a passionate hockey fan and expert, covering the NHL for ESPN and hosting In the Crease on ESPN+. A former goalie herself, Cohn was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame in 2017. She is a mom, a dog lover, and a role model for many aspiring sportscasters. In this article, we take a closer look at the professional and personal life of Linda Cohn.
Linda Cohn was born on the 10th of November 1959 in Long Island, New York in a Jewish Family. She inherited her love for sports from her father, who was a huge sports fan and often watched sports on TV with her. She also had a passion for ice hockey and became the first female goalie on her high school’s boys team.
Linda graduated from Newfield High School and continued to play hockey at SUNY Oswego, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and communications in 1981. She was later inducted into the Oswego State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006. She has not revealed much about her siblings or her relationship with them, but she has said that her mother was supportive of her hockey career and found a league for her to play with boys when she was 15.
Fresh out of college, Linda began working for the radio station WALK-AM and WALK-FM. After a four-year stint at the radio station, Linda decided that she wanted to try something new. In 1987, Linda was hired by the ABC network as the first full-time female sports anchor. During her time there, Linda worked for the WABC TalkRadio as well as SportsChannel America. Impressed by her work at ABC network, Linda was then hired by KIRO-TV.
Linda’s big break came in 1992 when she was offered a professional contract by the Entertainment and Sports Network (ESPN). After her induction, Linda began working on the program, Sports Center. Her first appearance came soon after when she kicked off the show with Chris Meyers.
Over the years, Linda has continued to work for ESPN. She started showing promise early on in her career and was handed a contract extension in 2005. Following her new contract, Linda started covering events for the WNBA. In her time at ESPN, Linda has been involved in several sporting events. She is also the host of a podcast entitled Listen Closely to Linda Cohn.
In 2018, Linda signed a new contract with ESPN which established her as the longest-running host for Sports Center. She also began working for a new hockey show entitled, In the Crease.
Television Career Timeline
Linda Cohn has been working for ESPN since 1992. She is the longest-tenured SportsCenter anchor and has made over 5,000 appearances on the show. Here is a brief timeline of her television career:
1988: She got her first television break, after being hired by SportsChannel America, one of ESPN’s top competitors at the time.
1989: She became a weekend sports anchor and full-time reporter at KIRO-TV in Seattle. She also hosted a call-in radio sports show in New York.
1992: She joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor, making her debut on July 11, 1992, with Chris Myers. She also featured in many of the show’s This Is SportsCenter commercials.
1997: She made a name for herself as a prognosticator during the NCAA basketball tournament, accurately predicting 15th-seeded Coppin State University’s shocking victory over South Carolina in the first round.
2006: She was inducted to the Oswego State Athletics Hall of Fame.
2018: She appeared as herself in the movie Creed II.
2022: She celebrated her 30th anniversary at ESPN.
Cohn’s long and successful career has not been without challenges and controversies. In 2017, she made headlines when she was suspended by ESPN president John Skipper for expressing her opinion on a radio show about the network’s declining ratings and political leanings. She said that ESPN had overpaid for some sports rights, alienated its core viewers by moving away from strictly covering sports, and became too political in its coverage. She also criticized the network for firing hundreds of employees while keeping some outspoken personalities who had offended some viewers.
Cohn’s comments sparked a debate about ESPN’s direction and identity, as well as its treatment of its employees. Many people defended Cohn and praised her for being honest and courageous, while others accused her of being disloyal and biased. Some also compared her suspension to the lack of disciplinary action against another ESPN anchor, Jemele Hill, who had called President Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter around the same time.
Cohn later apologized for her remarks and said that she regretted hurting ESPN. She also said that she had a good relationship with Skipper and that he had apologized to her as well. She resumed her duties at SportsCenter and continued to be one of the network’s most popular and respected anchors.
Cohn’s suspension was not the first time that she had faced controversy or criticism in her career. In 2008, she underwent emergency eye surgery after a loose piece of ice hit her in the face while she was practicing hockey with the New York Rangers. She suffered a detached retina and a fractured eye socket, which required several stitches and months of recovery. She later sued the Rangers for negligence and settled the case out of court.
Despite the rumors and controversies that have surrounded her, Cohn has maintained her professionalism and passion for sports journalism. She has also shown her versatility and creativity by hosting a podcast called “Listen Closely to Linda Cohn”, where she interviews various celebrities and athletes about their lives and careers. She has also written a memoir called “Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys’ Club”, where she shares her experiences and insights as a female sports journalist in a male-dominated industry.
Linda Cohn has amassed a substantial fortune through her illustrious career in sports broadcasting. She has a net worth of $13 million as of 2023. She is one of the highest-paid female sportscasters in the industry.
Linda Cohn owns several properties across the country. She lives in a luxurious mansion in Connecticut, near the ESPN headquarters. She also has a home in Los Angeles, where she co-hosts SportsCenter on weekends. She owns a collection of cars and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Philanthropy & Activism
Linda Cohn is not only a trailblazer in sports media, but also a generous and passionate advocate for causes close to her heart. The veteran ESPN anchor has used her platform and influence to support various charitable and social initiatives over the years.
One of Cohn’s main philanthropic endeavors is The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which was founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano in 1993. Cohn has been a longtime supporter and fundraiser for the foundation, which aims to achieve victory over cancer by funding cutting-edge research and raising awareness. Cohn has participated in several events and campaigns for The V Foundation, such as the Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research, the Dick Vitale Gala, and the Don’t Ever Give Up! slogan contest.
Another cause that Cohn is passionate about is women’s sports. As one of the first female sportscasters in America, Cohn has faced many challenges and barriers in her career, but she has also paved the way for other women to follow her footsteps. Cohn has been a vocal advocate for increasing the coverage and recognition of women’s sports, especially the WNBA and women’s hockey. Cohn has also mentored and encouraged many young female athletes and journalists, sharing her insights and advice through her podcast, Listen Closely to Linda Cohn, and her memoir, Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking into the Boys’ Club.
Cohn is also a proud member of the Jewish community and has expressed her solidarity with other Jewish people who face discrimination and antisemitism. Cohn grew up in a Jewish family on Long Island, New York, and played ice hockey on the boys’ team at her high school before becoming the goalie for her college team at SUNY Oswego. Cohn has spoken about her Jewish identity and heritage in various interviews and panels, such as the Jewish Women’s Archive podcast, Can We Talk?, and the Jewish Sports Heritage Association event, Jews in Sports Media.
Behind a successful career, Linda Cohn has also faced some challenges in her personal life. She was married to Stew Kaufman, whom she met in college, for 28 years before they divorced in 2008. The couple had two children together, a son named Dan Kaufman and a daughter named Sammy Kaufman.
Linda Cohn and Stew Kaufman had a long-term relationship before they tied the knot in 1980. However, their marriage was not always smooth sailing. In her memoir, Cohn-Head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys Club, Linda Cohn revealed that she was unhappy in her marriage and felt emotionally distant from her husband. She wrote:
I thought I loved Stew and I said ‘I love you’ to him frequently. I had to admit that, emotionally, I was always holding a little bit back.
The reason for their divorce was never officially confirmed, but there were rumors that Linda Cohn had cheated on Stew Kaufman with Matt Voity, a professional hockey coach. Linda Cohn started dating Matt Voity in 2008, shortly after her divorce, and they were together for 11 years until they broke up in 2019.
Linda Cohn has always prioritized her career over her personal life, which sometimes came at a cost. She admitted that she missed out on some important moments with her children because of her busy work schedule. She also faced some criticism and sexism as a female sportscaster in a male-dominated field.
Despite these difficulties, Linda Cohn has maintained a close relationship with her children, who are now grown-ups. She often shares pictures of them on her social media accounts and expresses her love and pride for them. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and colleagues, as well as playing hockey and golf.
Physical Traits and Dressing Style
Linda Cohn is known for her unique style, which reflects her passion and personality as a sports fan and journalist. Cohn has a thick New York accent that adds charm and authenticity to her voice. She has blonde hair that she usually wears in a short bob and Hazel eyes. She has a radiant smile that shows her confidence and warmth. Cohn is 63 years old, but she looks ageless and fit, thanks to her active lifestyle and healthy habits. She stands at 5 feet 5 inches or 165 cm tall and has a slender figure.
Cohn’s dressing style is professional and elegant, but also comfortable and practical. She often wears suits or blazers in solid colors or subtle patterns, paired with skirts or pants that match or contrast. She likes to accessorize with scarves, necklaces, earrings, or pins that add some flair and personality to her outfits. She also wears glasses sometimes, which give her a smart and sophisticated look. Cohn’s wardrobe choices reflect her versatility and adaptability as a sportscaster who can cover any sport or event with ease and grace.
Linda Cohn is a Scorpio, born on November 10th, 1959. Scorpios are known for being resourceful, brave, passionate, and loyal. They also have a tendency to be distrusting, jealous, secretive, and intense. Scorpios are often misunderstood by others because of their complex and mysterious nature. Some possible personality traits of Linda Cohn are:
Confident: Cohn has a strong presence and voice on TV and radio. She is not afraid to express her opinions, even if they are controversial or unpopular. She has also overcome challenges and criticism in her career, such as being one of the few women in a male-dominated field, and almost being fired by ESPN in 1994. She has proven her skills and knowledge as a sportscaster over three decades.
Curious: Cohn has a wide range of interests and expertise in sports. She covers various leagues and events, such as the NFL, the WNBA, and the NHL. She also enjoys learning new things and exploring new places. She moved to California a few years ago and embraced the change of scenery and lifestyle. She is always looking for new stories and angles to share with her audience.
Humorous: Cohn has a good sense of humor and likes to have fun on and off the air. She is known for her witty remarks and jokes, especially in the This Is SportsCenter commercials. She also likes to interact with her fans and colleagues on social media, where she posts humorous memes and videos. She does not take herself too seriously and can laugh at herself.
Dedicated: Cohn is committed to her work and her passion for sports. She has been loyal to ESPN for 30 years, despite having other opportunities elsewhere. She has also been consistent and reliable in delivering high-quality content and analysis for SportsCenter and other shows. She works hard to prepare for each broadcast and to stay updated on the latest news and trends in sports.
Inspiring: Cohn is an inspiration for many people, especially women and girls who aspire to be sportscasters or athletes. She has broken barriers and stereotypes in her field, becoming the first full-time female sports anchor on a national radio network, the first woman to host a call-in sports show in New York, and the most prolific SportsCenter anchor ever. She has also been recognized and honored by various organizations, such as the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
November 10, 1959
63 years old
Long Island, New York, United States
Newfield High School, SUNY Oswego
Television personality, Sport Anchor ESPN
National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, SUNY Oswego Athletic Hall of Fame, Women’s Sports Journalism Award from the Women’s Sports Foundation