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How Linda Cohn broke into a "man's world" — the story of one wildly successful female sports reporter

  • Cohn's first year at SUNY Oswego

    Cohn's first year at SUNY Oswego
    Linda Cohn graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1981 with a degree in Communications. During her years at the upstate college, Cohn played goalie for the women's ice hockey team and met her husband, Stew, in the residence hall. **All information from:
    Cohn, Linda. Cohn-head: a No-holds-barred Account of Breaking into the Boys' Club. Guilford, CT: Lyons, 2008. Print. Image from:
  • Cohn gets her first job at WALK radio

    Cohn couldn't find a job at graduation, so she found a temporary job as a cocktail waitress. After a few months of desperately searching for a job she got a call from the WALK-AM/FM radio station in Patchogue, New York. However, Cohn didn't land a sports job; she worked as a news reporter for WALK until her editor gave her a chance to cover a New York Islanders NHL game. That's when Cohn broke into the sports reporting world.
  • Cohn gets her first paid sports reporting position at CBS

    Ed Ingles heard Cohn's Islanders broadcasts and offered her a freelance job working for CBS radio, covering the Mets and US Open tennis. With this job, Cohn became the first woman to regularly cover sports in New York City.
  • Cohn recieves her first hate-mail

    During her time at CBS, Cohn started to recieve threatening letters in the mail. After letting the first few bother her, she finally realized that vulgar and obscene feedback is simply part of the job. "I came to terms with the fact that as long as I was in the public eye, I was going to get threatening and hateful mail from people who had too much time on their hands," Cohn said in her autobiography "Cohn-head". "I've long since stopped reading letters like that."
  • Cohn hired at ABC — breaks gender barrier

    Cohn hired at ABC — breaks gender barrier
    By being hired at WABC talk — ABC's talk radio station — Cohn became the first full time sports anchor on a national network.
    Cohn was presented with a job offer from ABC and immediately accepted it. But CBS responded with a counter-offer. ABC then responded with an unbeatable counter-offer -- Linda Cohn was the first woman sportscaster to work for a national station AND the stations were fighting over her.
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  • Cohn gets her first TV sportscaster job

    After several months of sending in audition tapes to TV networks all over the country, Cohn finally got a call from KIRO-TV in Seattle. Cohn was hired as a full time sports reporter for SportsChannel America Network -- ESPN's top competitor at the time.
  • Cohn Hired at ESPN

    Cohn Hired at ESPN
    ESPN tracked Cohn and expressed its interest in her work before the blossoming sportscaster finally accepted the job with the "Worldwide Leader in Sports". Cohn had only been performing four-minute broadcasts at ABC, but she was now responsible for 30-minute segments at ESPN. Cohn didn't find the station in Bristol to be "girl friendly" -- there were no make-up artists, dressing rooms, or even outlets in the bathrooms for hair dryers like there were at ABC.
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  • Cohn admitted to National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame

    Cohn admitted to National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
    Cohn was admitted to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for her achievements not only in sports jounralism, but also for her skill on the Ice. Cohn played goalie for the men's ice hockey team at Newfield High School and was the starting goalie for SUNY Oswego's women's ice hockey team.
    Cohn was also admitted to the Oswego State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
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  • Cohn experiences gender discrimination at ESPN

    When the "Tower" segment was first added to SportsCenter, Cohn suddenly found herself having to stand up in front of a camera instead of being hidden behind a desk. The first time she wore an outfit her supervisors deemed, "inappropriate" -- a knee-length plaid wool skirt, opaque tights, and low black booted heels -- she was nearly fired.
  • Cohn extends contract with ESPN

    In 2005, Cohn extended her contract with the station, adding WNBA play-by-play to her already impressive SportsCenter broadcasts at the station. By this time, Cohn had become a celebrity and house-hold name around the country. She wasn't just a SportsCenter regular, she was a female SportsCenter regular. She gathered a large following of fans, men and women alike.
  • Cohn publishes her autobiography "Cohn-head"

    Cohn publishes her autobiography "Cohn-head"
    Cohn published "Cohn-head: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Breaking Into the Boys' Club" in 2008. The autobiography -- written in her same quirky voice from SportsCenter -- detailed her journey through life, including her job-to-job status, personal sports adventures, and relationships with her husband and children.
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