jeannine edwards-espn

ESPN reporter Jeannine Edwards will work the Cotton Bowl on December 29, then leave the network and retire from broadcasting, ESPN announced Tuesday.

Per ESPN Front Row, Edwards turned down a contract offer from ESPN so she could spend more time with her family.

“I’ve made this decision after a lot of thought and careful consideration,” said Edwards, who indicated she was offered a new contract with ESPN. “It wasn’t easy, and I still can’t believe I’m saying the word ‘retire,’ but I felt the time was right.”

Edwards, whose husband Glenn Spencer is the defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State, said that spending more time with her family is the main reason for her decision. Both she and Spencer have parents who need extra care, and her father passed away in June.

“When anyone gets of a certain age and your parents are elderly, I think you maybe start to rethink your priorities, so that’s what I’ve been doing the last year or so,” she said. “We’re both struggling to find the time to be there for our families who need us most right now.”

Since joining ESPN a horse racing analyst in 1995, Edwards has served as a SportsCenter bureau reporter and worked the sidelines on college basketball and college football broadcasts.

Edwards is not the first prominent ESPNer to decline a contract extension and depart the network this year. Former SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak walked away after ESPN asked her to take a new job and a pay-cut upon her return from maternity leave (having given up the 6 p.m. SportsCenter show to Jemele Hill and Michael Smith), and ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo recently announced he will leave Bristol because he was unsatisfied with ESPN’s extension offer.

ESPN has seemed to seek savings this year not only by laying off employees but also by driving a tough bargain with longtime talent, though we don’t know whether or not that was the case with Edwards, who may very well have walked away regardless of ESPN’s offer.

Either way, we wish Edwards the best of luck in her post-ESPN life.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Walt_Gekko

    The first time I saw her was on the simulcast feed for the Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) in 1993 in the very early days of simulcasting horse racing as we know it today. She was great then and has gotten to do a lot over the years at ESPN. She will be missed at ESPN.

  • Dale Moog

    She will be back at the track. I am guessing she will join NBC this spring to work the Triple crown races. That would be great for her and NBC to get another strong racing reporter.

    • Mike

      She’s very knowledgeable at the track to be sure. But she’s also versatile. She did fine at basketball and football games. I’m sure ESPN will find some blonde 20-something to fill the role, but how well? Or do they really care? Good for her for spending more time with her family. If she’s able to afford it, that’s wonderful for them.

  • Bill Pitcher

    Rusillo’s first name is spelled wrong in this story.