ESPN Signs Chris McKendry to New Agreement, Focusing on Tennis


ESPN Signs Chris McKendry to New Agreement, Focusing on Tennis

SportsCenter Anchor since 1996 to Continue Hosting Australian, US Opens and Wimbledon

ESPN has reached an agreement with Chris McKendry in which the longtime SportsCenter anchor and host of live events including the Little League World Series will focus on tennis, continuing to front ESPN’s start-to-finish and extensive coverage of three of the sport’s Majors – the Australian and US Opens and Wimbledon.

“On July 27, 1996, I made my SportsCenter debut,” McKendry recalls.  “A newly hired reporter visiting Bristol, I was just a fill in.  I never left.  I found myself next to those whose talents, personalities and reputations initially scared me to death only to realize that I had found what would be my home for nearly 20 years.

“But when ESPN first assigned me to the Australian Open in 2010, I knew instantly that I was working on my future.  I’ve decided the future is now.  Wimbledon is one of sports’ most iconic competitions and venues, and that’s where you’ll find me next.  I have a seat there because of the seat I’ve occupied on SportsCenter. For that, I am forever grateful.”

McKendry on Tennis Ball on QuadHer final SportsCenter will be the 11 a.m. – noon ET edition on Thursday, March 31.  It will include a special segment looking back on McKendry’s time with the show.

McKendry joined ESPN in 1996 as a SportsCenter anchor, adding a wide variety of assignments over the years – the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee; the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.; the Winter X Games and serving as a sideline reporter at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, in addition to tennis, which also included the French Open for many years.

“Chris instantly and seamlessly became part of the travelling road show that is the ESPN tennis family,” said Jamie Reynolds, ESPN vice president, production.  “Our telecasts are elevated by her professionalism, dedication, personality and lifelong love of tennis, and we all look forward to continuing to have her as part of the team.”

Prior to joining ESPN, McKendry had been at WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., where she was a sports reporter, as well as the first woman to work as a television sports anchor in the market (1994-96).  In June 1996, she received a regional Sports Emmy in the Best Sports Segment Category for “NFL 101,” which illustrated how to watch football.  While at WJLA-TV, McKendry also co-hosted Redskin Magazine, a one-hour, live pregame show.   In 1996, she was sideline and feature reporter for TNT and TBS during the NBA Playoffs.

Born in Philadelphia, McKendry was graduated in 1990 from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in humanities.  A dean’s list scholar for three years, she was a scholarship tennis player.



Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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