Mike Hall Dream Job ESPN Credit: Mike Hall on X

The early 2000s were a transformative time when it came to the public’s perception of the sports media.

The Embrace Debate era was emerging with shows like Pardon The Interruption and Around The Horn. One of the biggest shows on television featured Ray Romano as a sportswriter. Tony Kornheiser managed to sell a sitcom based on his life. And the idea of being an ESPN anchor was such that the Worldwide Leader created a reality show in which contestants vied for the prize of sitting behind the SportsCenter desk.

In fact, it was 20 years ago on Thursday that Dream Job debuted. Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the Season 1 winner, Mike Hall, posted a series of pictures and videos commemorating the occasion.

“20 years ago today was the debut of Dream Job. No really. The show that changed my life,” Hall wrote. “Everyday of joy life I think about how fortunate I have been because of that show. Some incredible friends and amazing experiences.”

Hall also posted a video from the premiere episode.

For those curious about the history of Dream Job, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg published a deep dive on the show back in 2020. In addition to Hall, the first season featured current Turner Sports and Sirius XM host Casey Stern.

After being voted the winner of Season 1 at just 22-years-old, Hall began his career at ESPN with a $95,000 annual salary. His base salary started at $70,000, but was increased following a trivia contest on the show (no, really). He remained at ESPN until 2007 before leaving for the Big Ten Network in 2007, where he has remained one of the faces of the network ever since.

As for Dream Job, the show continued with two more seasons. Dave Holmes, who is now a sports anchor at CBS affiliate WBNS 10TV in Columbus, won Season 2, while the third season featured former NBA players vying for a broadcasting job, with Dee Brown emerging victorious.

Following Hall’s sentimental social media thread, Holmes responded with his own perspective.

“Great thread, but I still feel like the show peaked in Season 2…” Holmes wrote.

[Mike Hall on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.