Monday Night Football female sideline reporters are Lisa Salters and Laura Routledge. Salters and Routledge were hired in 2012 and 2021.
Salters is partnered with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman in the leading team for the ESPN Monday Night Football. She is in her twelfth year and is the longest-serving MNF sideline reporter.
Meanwhile, Rutledge is in the No. 2 team. Chris Fowler is the play-by-play announcer starting the 2023 season and will be accompanied by color commentators Louis Riddick and San Orlovsky. Both joined the booth in 2022.
Likewise, many famous female figures such as Lesley Visser, Melissa Stark, Michele Tafoya, and Suzy Kolber were once a part of the show.
The production has changed studios, and people involved were obliged to change ships. The Monday Night Football was initially televised by ABC from 1970 to 2005.
ESPN acquired its rights in 2006. ABC also became a part of the telecast in 2016.
Monday Night Football Female Reporters
|2001, 2003-2005, 2006-2011
Lisa Salters (2012-present)
Lisa Salters is a part of the Monday Night Football crew, along with Troy Aikman and Joe Buck. She has been in this role since 2012.
She had been affiliated with ESPN since March 2000.
Lisa is from Pennsylvania and has a broadcast journalism degree from Penn State University. She graduated in 1988.
Even with her short height of 5’2″, she played college basketball from 1986 to 1987.
After college, she joined NewsOne, an ABC affiliate news service, in 1995. She covered events like the O.J. Simpson case, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 1998 Winter Olympics.
In 2000, she transitioned from broadcast journalist to sportscaster. She covered E: 60, the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the 2004 Olympic Games, the 2006 Winter Olympics, the 2006 NBA Finals, the 2007 NBA Finals, and the Big 12 Championship Game.
When she was roped in as a sideline report in 2012, she replaced Suzy Kolber and was teamed up with Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico.
Laura Rutledge (2018, 2021-present)
Laura Rutledge was the 2012 Miss Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Florida.
She is originally from St. Petersburgh, Florida, and now lives with her husband, Josh Rutledge, and two children in Connecticut. Her elder child is Reese Katherine Rutledge and the youngest is Jack Alexander.
Her husband is a former Major League Baseball athlete who played for Colorado Rockies (2012 to 2014) and Boston Red Sox (2015 to 2017).
Speaking of Laura’s career, she started with Fox Sports and covered baseball for the San Diego Padres and the Tampa Bay Rays. She also handled the coverage of the NCPA’s 2012 National Paintball Championship.
After that, she moved to ESPN and covered college football for the SEC Network.
Her affiliation with Fox continued with Coors Light PsotGame show, Chargers Insider, and SDLive. Her hard work was rewarded with the role of the SEC Network host for SEC Nation.
Similarly, she became the anchor of NFL Live on the 17th of August, 2020.
Lindsay Czarniak (2014-2016)
Lindsay Czarniak has been active in broadcasting since 2000. She did her bachelor’s in online journalism at James Madison University.
She started her career with WUSA. She interned there while studying in college.
Her actual start was when she came to CNN as an assistant. She got her first news anchor role while working at WAWS.
Her other affiliations during the earlier years were with WTVJ and WRC-TV. She was a co-host at The George Michael Sports Machine in 2006.
The 45-year-old has covered the 2006 Winter Olympics, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Sprint Cup Series, and the 2008 Summer Olympics.
In 2011, Czarniak joined ESPN and made her debut through SportsCenter.
Likewise, Lindsay hosted the 2013 Indianapolis 300, making her the first female to host the production.
Rachel Nichols (2011-2012)
Rachel Nichols has been working as a sports journalist and television personality for twenty-nine years. She first started as a sportswriter in 1995.
She covered football for the University of Miami and the Miami Dolphins at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. A year later, in 1996, she joined The Washington Post and began writing about NBA, Olympics, MLB, and tennis.
Her transition into a sportscaster came in 2004 when ESPN recruited her. She was included in NBA broadcasts but mainly worked around football.
The 50-year-old appeared on Sunday NFL Countdown, SportsCenter, and Monday Night Countdown before becoming a notable figure in MNF.
After ESPN, she worked at CNN from 2013 to 2016. She returned to ESPN in 2016. She worked in The Jump and NBA Countdown.
She agreed to work in Showtime Sports in 2022. Since August 2023, Rachel has been at Fox Sports and appears as a panelist for Undisputed.
Suzy Kolber (2001, 2003-2005, 2006-2011)
Suzy Kolber was one of the original crew members of ESPN’s MNF cast from 2006. It was the first year when ESPN got the MNF’s television rights.
The University of Miami alma mater studied telecommunications. During her college years, she worked at Dynamic Cable in Coral Gables and excelled in handling the sports director position from 1984 to 1986.
After completing a bachelor’s, the anchor went to New York City and worked at CBS Sports. She was a videotape coordinator.
From 1985 to 1993, she actively produced for WTVJ-TV, WPLG-TV, Greyhound Racing America, Cowboys Special Edition, Breeder’s Cup, Inside Edition, NFL Films, and WPEC-TV.
She joined ESPN in 1993 and left in 1996 for Fox Sports. There, she worked on coverage of the NFL and NHL.
She returned to ESPN in 1999 and was involved in various projects like X Games, Grand Slam tennis, ESPN’s Sunday Night Football, NFL Matchup, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, College GameDay, NASCAR Countdown,
Michele Tafoya (2004-2010)
Michele Tafoya is a five-time Sports Emmy Award-winning sportscaster. She was actively engaged in sportscasting from 1993 to 2022.
The 58-year-old television personality completed her bachelor’s in mass communication from the University of California, Berkley, and her master’s in business administration from the University of Southern California.
During her initial days, she worked for KFAN-AM and covered news related to the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team. She also worked for WAQS and Midwest Sports Channel.
In 1994, CBS hired her as a reporter. She served till 1999 and appeared in a wide range of shows.
She joined ABC Sports in 2000 and was included in the MNF as a sideline reporter for the 2004 and 2005 campaigns. After ESPN acquired the TV rights for MNF, she continued appearing in MNF till 2010.
After that, she changed her workplace and joined NBC Sports as a sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football.
In 2022, she retired and joined the political campaign of Republican Kendall Qualls.
Mellisa Stark (2000-2003)
Melissa Stark currently hosts NFL 360. She joined the Emmy Award-winning show in 2018 and will continue to be the leading presenter for the fifth season.
Stark was born and raised in Baltimore, where she attended Roland Park Country School. She then attended the University of Virginia, where she graduated with Foreign affairs and Spanish degrees.
The NFL Network reporter commenced her career with a new intern job at WMAR-TV. She also interned at the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather from 1993 to 1994.
Melissa took the production assistant and reporter role at Virginia Sports Marketing from 1994 to 1995.
In 1996, ESPN hired her as a reporter for SportsCenter. She also appeared as an on-site host for NBA and NCAA basketball, MLB, NHL, and golf.
Likewise, ABC Sports recruited her as a sideline reporter for MNF in 2000. She worked there till 2003.
Across her career, she has been a part of a wide range of projects like The Runner, The Today Show, MSNBC Live, Sunday Night Football, and coverage of the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Lesley Visser (1998-2000)
Lesley Visser is the first female recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Visser started as a sportswriter for The Boston Globe in 1974. She worked there for fourteen years and wrote about college football, golf, college basketball, horse racing, tennis, MLB, and NBA.
Her television career began in 1993 when CBS recruited her. In 1990, she covered the World Series, making her the first woman to do so.
Likewise, she officiated the 1992 Super Bowl Trophy presentation. She is the only female to this date to achieve this feat.
In 1998, she was assigned to MNF. She was the first female reporter to feature in the MNF.
After enjoying two years at MNF, CBS acquired her in 2000. She covered various Super Bowl games as a pre-game broadcast and was the sideline reporter for the SB XLI.
Her continuous effort in sportscasting paved paths for many women. Her contribution helped her get recognized with the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015 and the International Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.