Steve Holman Named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year by National Sports Media Association
Radio Voice Has Broadcast More Than 2,500 Hawks Games
SALISBURY, N.C. -- Linda Cohn, the late Frank Gifford, Mike Lupica and the late Sam Lacy will be inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame this June, NSMA executive director Dave Goren announced. The NSMA will also honor 2016 National Sportscaster of the Year, Vin Scully, 2016 National Sportswriter of the Year, Tom Verducci, and 106 State Sportscasters and Sportswriters of the Year from 49 states, plus the District of Columbia. They will be honored during the 58th annual NSMA Awards Weekend, June 25-26, in Winston-Salem, N.C. The NSMA recently announced that it is moving its operations to Winton-Salem from Salisbury, N.C., where it was founded in 1959.
Cohn is best known for her work and versatility at ESPN, where she has anchored more of the sports network’s SportsCenter shows (5,000-plus) than anyone. After starting her career in radio, Cohn moved into local television sports, before starting at ESPN in 1992.
Gifford was one of the first athletes to leave the playing field and succeed in the broadcast booth. A football star at the University of Southern California and with the New York Giants, Gifford worked as a sportscaster while still playing in the NFL. Starting at CBS and moving to ABC, Gifford eventually worked his way into regular roles with Wide World of Sports and Monday Night Football. From 1971-1985, he was the lead play-by-play voice for Monday Night Football, transitioning to an analyst’s role from 1986-1997. Gifford died at the age of 84 in 2015.
Lupica became the youngest columnist ever at the New York Daily News in 1977 and 40 years later, is still there. For the last 30 years, Lupica has expanded his repertoire, writing books and magazine articles, hosting his own radio and television shows and, for the last 15 years, appearing as a regular panelist on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters.
Lacy was a sportswriting pioneer. After short stints at the Washington Tribune and Chicago Defender, Lacy moved to the Baltimore Afro-American, where he covered sports for 60 years. He was instrumental in helping to integrate Major League Baseball, using his status as sports editor to push baseball’s owners to consider it. Lacy wrote his final column for the Afro-American just days before his death at age 99, in May of 2003.
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Winning his fourth NSMA National Sportscaster of the Year award to go along with his 33rd NSMA California Sportscaster of the Year award, Scully retired in October after broadcasting Brooklyn -- then Los Angeles -- Dodgers’ baseball for 67 seasons, the longest tenure of any broadcaster with one professional team. Scully also called major sporting events for both CBS and NBC, and was elected to the NSMA Hall of Fame in 1991.
Verducci has won his third straight NSMA National Sportswriter award. A 24-year veteran at Sports Illustrated, where he is now the senior baseball writer, Verducci has branched out in recent years to television, as a commentator for the MLB Network and FOX Sports. He has written several books, with one on the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs due out March 28.
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Among the state winners, Scully’s 33rd award as California Sportscaster of the Year is a record. There are seven others who have won double figure times in their states. And John Blanchette, who has been elected Washington State Sportswriter of the Year nine times, also won five awards in Montana, giving him 14 total.
There are also 40 first-time winners of state awards. They include Erin Cofiell (sportscaster) and Lauren Read (sportswriter), who make Vermont the first state to have women win both awards. Of the 106 state winners, six are women, the highest total in the NSMA’s history.