Gayle Gardner (born ca. 1950) is an American sportscaster who worked for ESPN and NBC Sports beginning in 1987 until 1993. Gardner is considered a pioneer in sports broadcasting, having been the first female sports anchor to appear weekly on a major network.[1][2]


Gardner graduated from Brooklyn College in 1969 and earned a master's degree in film and broadcasting from Boston University in 1971.[3]

Gardner started her career in Boston under the name Gail Granik.[4] She began working as an intern for WBZ-TV and after graduating from BU she became an associate producer for the station's Sonya Hamlin Show.[3] By 1974 she was the show's executive producer.[5] She then worked as the producer of the Pat Collins Show on WCBS-TV.[3] She returned to WBZ in 1976 as the executive producer and interviewer for the station's New England Patriots pregame show.[6] In 1977 she began making appearances on WBZ's news broadcasts, serving as a tertiary sports anchor behind Len Berman and Jimmy Myers.[7] In 1978 she became the nightly sports anchor for WDIV-TV. At the time of her hiring she was the only woman to serve as a daily sports anchor in a top-10 market.[8] She then worked as a reporter and weekend sports anchor for WJZ-TV in Baltimore.[9]

After being hired by ESPN in 1983, Gardner served as a SportsCenter anchor for three years. Gardner then worked for NBC from 1987-1993. Among the assignments that she undertook included anchoring NBC's New Year's Day college football bowl game coverage, NFL Live!, Major League Baseball: An Inside Look, NBC's 1988[10] and 1992 Summer Olympics[11] coverage, the French Open, Wimbledon, and NBC's "Prudential Sports Updates".

In January, 1989, Gardner was a member of the NBC broadcast team for Super Bowl XXIII (San Francisco vs. Cincinnati).

On August 3, 1993, Gardner became the first woman to do televised play-by-play of a baseball game when she called the action of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds.[12]

Gardner later worked on the Food Network before writing a screenplay. She spent three years on the Food Network.[13]

In 2004 (to celebrate the 25th anniversary of SportsCenter), Gardner returned to anchor a special "old school" edition of SportsCenter alongside Stuart Scott.

See also


  1. ^ Sports Illustrated, "London calling - What England lacks in TV programs, it makes up for in salacious tabloids", by Richard Deitsch, August 6, 2004, Retrieved March 3, 2012.[dead link]
  2. ^ American Sportscasters Online, "Women in Sportscasting: A Brief History", by Lou Schwartz, Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Craig, Jack (July 14, 1978). "Granik chips away at a male bastion". The Boston Globe.
  4. ^ Craig, Jack (October 7, 1986). "Sox shows get early start". The Boston Globe.
  5. ^ McLean, Robert (January 13, 1974). "Women to take over ch.4 for Day". The Boston Globe.
  6. ^ Craig, Jack (October 5, 1976). "Martin to work playoffs for CBS". The Boston Globe.
  7. ^ Craig, Jack (January 23, 1977). "Networks staging financial-legal Olympics to get Moscow Games". The Boston Globe.
  8. ^ Craig, Jack (November 3, 1978). "Women still fighting uphill battle". The Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Smith, Shelley (August 28, 1987). "ESPN Host a Trailblazer for Women". Chicago Tribune.
  10. ^ The New York Times, "SPORTS PEOPLE; Gardner to Shift", October 06, 1987, Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  11. ^ The Washington Post, "The Olympiad Covering the Best At Barcelona", by Patricia Brennan, July 26, 1992, Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  12. ^ American Sportscasters Online Archived 2013-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, "Sportscasting Firsts - 1920-Present, by Lou Schwartz, Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  13. ^ USA Today, "Disney-owned networks pass on early talks with NFL", by Rudy Martzke, August 10, 2004, Retrieved March 3, 2012.