Adnan Virk
Born (1978-07-29) July 29, 1978 (age 44)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
NationalityCanadian Pakistani
Alma materRyerson University
OccupationSports anchor
Employers
Spouse
Eamon Virk
(m. 2007)
Children4

Adnan Virk (Urdu: عدنان وِرک) (born July 29, 1978)[1] is a Canadian sportscaster for MLB Network and DAZN who previously worked for ESPN, TSN, and WWE. He also produces and hosts the weekly podcast Cinephile with Adnan Virk show covering cinema news and interviews with entertainment celebrities,[2] as well as co-hosts the football podcast The GM Shuffle with former NFL executive Michael Lombardi.

Early life

Virk was born in Toronto, Ontario to Zakaria and Taherah Virk; his parents had immigrated to Canada from Pakistan.[3] In 1984[4] the family relocated to Kingston, then in 1989 to Morven,[5] a small town just outside Kingston, where his parents owned and operated a gas station and Zack's Variety store.[3] After graduating from Ernestown Secondary School, where he played basketball and soccer, Virk studied Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University.[4]

Career

From 2003[3] to 2009, Virk hosted several programs on The Score,[6][7] and was an associate producer for Sportscentre at TSN. He was also the co-host of Omniculture and Bollywood Boulevard[8] at Omni Television. In 2009, he joined Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE)[9] as a host and reporter for Raptors TV, Leafs TV and Gol TV Canada.[3]

ESPN

In April 2010, Virk joined the ESPN family of stations in Bristol, Connecticut.[10] After joining ESPN, he became one of three main anchors for Baseball Tonight.[11] During 2014 spring training, he began calling play-by-play for an ESPN affiliate.[11] In the baseball off-season, he hosted SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. He would also fill in for Keith Olbermann on Olbermann.[11] He was the host of a movie podcast Cinephile on ESPN.[12] In addition, he was also the main studio host for ESPN College Football and also hosted College Football Final.

On February 3, 2019, Virk was fired following an investigation regarding leaks of ESPN information to the media.[13] Virk and ESPN later agreed not to pursue litigation against each other.[14]

DAZN and MLB Network

In March 2019, it was announced that Virk would host the new MLB studio program ChangeUp for DAZN, a subscription streaming media service based in London.[15][16] In addition, Virk will appear on MLB Network.[17] He is also hosting boxing events.

ChangeUp was canceled just prior to the 2020 MLB season.[18]

WWE

On April 12, 2021, it was announced that Virk would become the new play-by-play commentator for Monday Night Raw, replacing Tom Phillips.[19] However, after a negative reception from the fans,[20] six weeks later on May 25, he and the company mutually parted ways because Adnan claimed the schedule was too much for him and his family.[21] He was replaced by Jimmy Smith.

Personal life

Virk was born to a Pakistani Canadian Ahmadi Muslim family, and considers himself a practising Muslim. He lives in New Jersey with his wife Eamon, whom he married in 2007. They have four sons.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Adnan Virk". IMDb. 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Cinephile with Adnan Virk". player.fm. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Fatteh, Parvez (11 July 2010). "Adnan Virk Joins ESPN". The Muslim Observer. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b Kennedy, Patrick (15 April 2010). "Bench warmer gets hot job". Kingston Whig-Standard. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b Petrick, Stephen (14 April 2011). "Adnan Virk's long road from ESS to ESPN". The Napanee Guide. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  6. ^ Chick, John (9 April 2010). "Raps broadcaster headed south, is Bosh next?". Metro. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  7. ^ Warmington, Joe (31 October 2008). "CRTC gives Score a leg up". Toronto Sun.
  8. ^ Zelkovich, Chris (2 May 2008). "Calmer, gentler Virk takes reporting role". Toronto Star.
  9. ^ Dowbiggin, Bruce (15 March 2013). "Racist tweets about TSN hosts reveal Canada's nasty side". The Globe and Mail.
  10. ^ Zelkovich, Chris (22 April 2010). "Adnan Virk latest Canadian to join ESPN". Toronto Star.
  11. ^ a b c Hale, Jeff (21 March 2014). "Adnan Virk is Joan Rivers to Keith Olbermann's Johnny Carson". Yahoo Sports Canada. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Cinephile: The Adnan Virk Movie Podcast Show - PodCenter". ESPN Radio.
  13. ^ Marchand, Andrew (February 3, 2019). "Rising ESPN star Adnan Virk fired, escorted out in leak investigation". New York Post.
  14. ^ Jones, Kaelen (March 14, 2019). "Report: Former ESPN Host Adnan Virk Joining DAZN". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "Adnan Virk joins DAZN to helm MLB show "ChangeUp"". Awful Announcing. 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  16. ^ Marchand, Andrew (2019-03-14). "Adnan Virk completes ESPN divorce, finds new home". New York Post. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  17. ^ @richarddeitsch (March 14, 2019). "Virk will also make appearances on MLB Network" (Tweet). Retrieved March 26, 2019 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ Lucia, Joe (22 July 2020). "DAZN has reportedly cancelled MLB ChangeUp prior to the start of the 2020 season". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 7 September 2022.
  19. ^ "ADNAN VIRK JOINS WWE® MONDAY NIGHT RAW®". corporate.wwe.com. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  20. ^ "411Mania".
  21. ^ "WWE anuncia el despido de Adnan Virk tras siete semanas de trabajo". 25 May 2021.

Further reading

Preceded byTom Phillips Raw lead announcer 2021 Succeeded byJimmy Smith