I received an e-mail last week from an Newsweek reporter who had noticed more female sports commentators on the sidelines at network football games. She wondered whether the higher visibility of women on NFL and NCAA football game broadcasts was an indicator that women are making more inroads into sports broadcasting.
The answer: Not necessarily. Research released by the RTNDA/F indicates that among local broadcast news operations, women still make up a small percentage of sports broadcasters and sports reporters. Just 7% of sports anchors are women, and about 11% of sports reporters are women. That's a very small pipeline for higher-profile broadcast jobs.