Some say that ESPN got the idea for The Sports Reporters after seeing a similar show produced on the cheap in Chicago. Nearly 30 years after its launch, Sports Reporters is one of the linchpins of ESPN's Sunday morning block, which leads to NFL coverage during football season.
Respected journalist Dick Schaap was the original moderator when the series premiered in 1988, surrounded by some of his peers, some of whom, including Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, still contribute to the series today. After Schaap passed away in 2001, John Saunders, a long time SportsCenter anchor, took over, with Schaap's son, Jeremy, filling in occasionally, although Lupica was designated as the primary guest host.
The panel consists of the moderator and three prominent reporters. Of late, some ESPN personalities, including Jemele Hill and Around the Horn panelist Pablo Torre, have taken their turns on the panel. It can be said that Horn, with its game show format, is a distant cousin to Sports Reporters.
Following is a "Parting Shots" segment from June 2013, in memory of Saunders, who passed away today at 61.