John Saunders (journalist)

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John Saunders
Born (1955-02-02) February 2, 1955 (age 64)
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Sports journalist, TV personality, commentator and play-by-play announcer
Years active 1977-present

John Saunders (born February 2, 1955) is a Canadian-American sports journalist from Toronto, Ontario. He is currently working for ESPN and ABC.


Early life and career

According to his ABC biography, Saunders was an all-star defenseman in the Montreal junior leagues, received a scholarship and played hockey at Western Michigan University from 1974–76. His brother, Bernie Saunders, also played hockey at Western Michigan during this time. The university's official hockey media guide lists Saunders as having played limited time for the Broncos in that time frame, and also lists his hometown as Ajax, Ontario. He attended high school in Montreal. He transferred to Ryerson University in Toronto and played for the Rams from 1976–78. After the 1977–78 season, Saunders was named to the Ontario University Athletic Association All-Star team.[1] He was the news director for CKNS Radio (Espanola, Ontario, 1978), and sports anchor at CKNY-TV (North Bay, Ontario, 1978–1979) and at ATV News (New Brunswick, 1979–1980). He also served as the main sports anchor for CITY-TV (Toronto, 1980–1982). He then moved to the United States to work as a sports anchor at WMAR-TV (Baltimore, 1982–1986).[2]

Career at ESPN and ABC Sports

Saunders joined ESPN in 1986 and is currently the host of ESPN's The Sports Reporters. He previously co-hosted NFL Primetime from 1987 to 1989. He was also the studio host for the network's NHL broadcasts from 1992–93 until 2004, and is currently the studio host of ABC's coverage of college football. He has also hosted ABC's coverage of baseball under the Baseball Night in America banner and was involved in ESPN's coverage earlier in his career. He also anchored the 1995 World Series.


From 2002 to 2004, and occasionally during the 2007 season, Saunders has done play-by-play for ESPN's coverage of the NBA, mostly on Sunday nights. He was the studio host of ESPN's NBA Shootaround from 2004 to 2006.

Saunders also serves as a back-up play-by-play man for NBA on ABC. He has called most of the Team U.S.A. games on ESPN for the 2007 FIBA Americas Qualifying Tournament.


In 2008, he began hosting the 7pm ET Sunday SportsCenter during the NFL season with Chris Berman and analyst Tom Jackson.[3]

Toronto Raptors

He was the television play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Raptors from 1995 to 2001, eventually being replaced by Chuck Swirsky.

Personal life

John is an advocate for juvenile diabetes research and is a founding board member of the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research, a charity that has raised almost 90 million dollars with 100 percent of the charity funding cancer research.

Saunders currently resides in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife and children.

External links

Notes and references

  1. "Hockey History: Player Register" (PDF). 2007-08 Western Michigan Hockey Media Guide. Western Michigan University Athletics. p. 80. Retrieved 2007-12-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>