TV sports broadcaster
Today, when a woman anchors an evening network newscast and most major networks and sports channels feature women sports broadcasters, it is easy to forget what television reporting resembled in 1978 when Anne Doyle became the first female TV sports broadcaster in Detroit to conduct a post-game locker room interview previously open only to men. But Doyle had a story to cover, so despite opposition, jeers and tremendous controversy, she changed the rules of sports journalism and got herself and her female peers access.
“How much fun do you imagine it was going toe-to-toe with men like then-Tigers president Jim Campbell,” asked Harry Atkins, former Associated Press sports editor in a support letter for Doyle. “How lonely do you suppose it was to be the only woman, standing outside a locker room door, taking a deep breath and forcing yourself to walk in? Talk about grace under pressure.”
In her five years reporting for WJBK-TV, then the CBS affiliate in Detroit, friends and former colleagues say Doyle changed the public perceptions about a woman’s ability to cover sports. She proved herself as a serious, knowledgeable reporter who wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions.
She proved that again and again in her tough series on drug use by athletes and Title IX and its impact on girls and athletics.
Doyle left broadcasting to become a reporter for Ford Motor Company’s internal television network and eventually its director of North America Communications, the highest ranked woman in global public affairs. She is currently a leadership coach and media trainer.
She serves on the International Women’s Forum, the Auburn Hills Planning Commission, the Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit and Inforum, a Woman’s Alliance.