ESPN is taking some time to remember an impactful individual for the network, Joe Valerio, who oversaw production on the majority of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters’ nearly 30-year run.
- News spread Sunday of the passing of Joe Valerio – the influential producer of ESPN’s legendary Sunday morning series The Sports Reporters. He was 71.
- Valerio, who had worked in ESPN’s programming department for a short time in the early days of ESPN, oversaw the majority of the production of The Sports Reporters’ 30-year run. The show aired every week from its debut in October 1988 through its final episode in May 2017.
- As ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap outlined in this tribute piece which aired on ESPN this morning, Valerio was known for his passion, sharp wit, and smarts. A groundbreaking program featuring newspaper columnists debating issues in sports, The Sports Reporters helped usher in a new genre of sports studio programming, while bolstering the profile of some of the most renowned sports personalities in the industry.
- Long-time hosts included Jeremy’s father, Dick Schaap, and John Saunders. A post on Front Row from 2017, around the time of the final episode of The Sports Reporters, outlines the show’s impact and includes thoughts from and about Valerio.