David Lloyd: At The Center Of ESPN

WWPT-FM — Staples High School’s Wrecker Radio station — has launched the careers of many grads.

David Lloyd, Staples High School Class of 1979.

David Lloyd, Staples High School Class of 1979.

David Lloyd is not one of them. Before graduating in 1979, he was a wrestler. He was good enough to co-captain the team and place 2nd in the state tournament — so he was the subject of sports coverage, not the reporter.

After graduating from Colgate University (majoring in international relations), he worked as a wholesale distributor of flowers, then in an ad agency.

But he didn’t like offices. A buddy working in TV knew Lloyd loved sports, and helped him snag an internship with WMAZ-TV in Macon, Georgia.

He worked there — without pay — for a year. “They were great, generous people, and I learned a lot,” Lloyd recalls.

He moved on to news reporting in Savannah. But sports beckoned, and after just a few weeks he got an offer in that department from WCIV in Charleston, South Carolina.

After 7 years — and stops in Sacramento and San Diego — Lloyd and his wife talked about returning east. It was time to think about ESPN.

Tapes are not enough for that sports behemoth. Every job applicant must audition, by writing a show. It was a daunting task, but Lloyd was eager to join what he calls “maybe the greatest media network of all time.”

He was hired as an ESPNEWS anchor in 1997. Now one of the longest-tenured anchors, he’s just signed a new contract extension. Lloyd currently hosts the 1-3 p.m. weekday SportsCenter, with Linda Cohn.

David Lloyd today, hosting ESPN's SportsCenter.

David Lloyd today, hosting ESPN’s SportsCenter.

He vividly recalls his initial SportsCenter broadcast, several years ago.

Each month, a new schedule comes out. When Lloyd saw he’d been assigned to that plum (and very popular) show, he was elated.

When he first sat at the desk and heard the SportsCenter theme song, “it was like an out-of-body experience. I didn’t even recognize my own voice.”

He loves the job — and the time slot.

“There’s a lot of breaking news that time of day,” he says. “I get in about 4 hours before the show, and start writing. But if something big happens, we throw it all out.”

Deflategate — the Tom Brady football scandal — broke just before airtime. “It’s such a rush of adrenaline,” Lloyd says. “We bring people in to talk. We’re not even sure what we’re going to ask. We just go with it.”

Sports Center

 

Lloyd has also done specialty shows, and the highly acclaimed “Outside the Lines” series.

Though he never joined WWPT, he knows his alma mater’s station’s reputation. He’s also seen Staples students — including the very talented D.J. Sixsmith — come to ESPN for internships.

For those Westporters, a possible career in the big leagues begins in Bristol, Connecticut. For David Lloyd, it all began in Macon, Georgia.

Hey, every star has to start somewhere.

 

 

4 responses to “David Lloyd: At The Center Of ESPN

  1. Dave’s been a pal since 3rd grade! Great guy, great family. Even though he’s a Phillies and Cowboys fan. Sorry for outing you Dave.

    • Tommy, how does someone growing up in Westport become a combo Phillies/Cowboys fan? That combination sounds like it belongs to one of the fictional characters in one of your books (mainly because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before.)

  2. Very cool. And, in another example of how so many students can’t really know what their future career path might be, the fact is David couldn’t have even dreamed about working for ESPN when he was in high school because it didn’t exist then.

    PS–David, I hope you will be having a lot of positive sports coverage of the Buckeyes and the Knicks this coming fall/winter.

  3. Great piece Dan Woog! Dave – if you are reading – do you remember backyard football games when you would announce while playing? Great stuff, and like Tommy said I watch you on TV and keep expecting you to shout out “I Love the Cowboys” so would you do that for us one day?