The death of ESPN host and play-by-play man John Saunders has come as a shock to the sports media industry. Whether you watched him as host of college football on ABC or as the host of The Sports Reporters, Saunders exuded class and dignity. He wasn’t a host who shouted or said something just to draw attention to himself. And his career spanned from ESPN’s infancy in the 1980’s to its current status as a sports media giant. But through it all, Saunders was always true to himself and that has been reflected in the tributes on Twitter in the short time after his passing.

Whether it was current or former ESPN’ers or even those who only knew Saunders from watching him on television, the theme for the tributes was the same:

Here is how Hannah Storm announced Saunders’ passing on SportsCenter this morning:

As you can see, Saunders influenced many at ESPN and outside the network’s walls. He will be missed.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.