Home > PUM Goes One On One With Espn Sportscenter Anchor Jay Harris – Also Former Pittsburgh Broadcaster

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PUM Goes One On One With Espn Sportscenter Anchor Jay Harris – Also Former Pittsburgh Broadcaster

PUM: Jay when you left Pittsburgh to work for ESPN in 2003 so many of your fans were so excited for you, how has your professional life been going since that time?

 Harris: Very well. I'd always thought moving to Pittsburgh was the best career move I ever made, and I still think it was for that time. But this move to ESPN took it next level. I have had the opportunity to do so many things I always wanted to do, from shows to interviews, to simply doing national/international TV. And I get to have so much fun doing it.

PUM: What do you like most about your job? For many years you covered a variety of news stories, now you primarily focus on sports related news-what challenges do you face on a daily basis?

Harris: I like that I can inform, entertain, and have fun doing it. The daily challenge is keeping it fresh. Sports is seasonal. Many times it's the same stories about the same people. Viewers get bored with the same old thing. You have to come up with ways to keep the product fresh and fun.

PUM: Pittsburgh Steelers-how do you think they will do this year? Were you surprised they won the super bowl last year? What will they need to watch out for this year?

Harris: I was not surprised they won the Super Bowl last year. I picked them. I know some of that was biased, but I just had a feeling. They're strong enough to repeat, but there's a team down in New Orleans that might have something to say when it's all said and done.

PUM: Do you get back to Pittsburgh often? What do you miss most about the city?

Harris: I don't get back that often. I miss friends. I miss coming through the Fort Pitt tunnel at night, watching to city unfold in front of me, all lit up. It's a great town, with still so much potential.

 PUM: As an advocate of adoption, I heard you and your wife also adopted a child? That's pretty special- why did your family decide to adopt?

Harris: After we had our son, my wife had some health issues that prevented us from having another child. We always wanted another, so we decided long ago we would adopt. We just wanted to wait for our son to get older. We fostered our daughter from about 5 weeks old, and ended up adopting her. They are like 2 peas in a pod. Definitely a blessing.

PUM: You really seem to hold it down on ESPN, why do you think viewers enjoy watching you?

Harris: I hope they enjoy the fact that I really like my job. I also hope they're informed and entertained. My job is to give them a reason to tune in to Sportscenter every night at 6, and to stay there for the entire show. It's my pleasure to do that for them.

PUM: What can we expect from you this year in terms of your role and responsibilities at ESPN?

Harris: Hopefully more of the same. It's a contract year, so we'll see what the powers that be have in store for me.

Biography of Jay Harris

SportsCenter Anchor

University: Old Dominion

Joined ESPN: 2003

Jay Harris joined ESPN in February 2003 as an ESPNEWS and SportsCenter anchor. In August 2006, Harris was named anchor of the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship sports news and information program. Harris came to ESPN from WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pa. where he was a news anchor/reporter.

Harris has more than 14 years experience in television and radio news, including morning news anchor at WAMO-FM and national news at American Urban Radio Networks, both in Pittsburgh, and at WOWI-FM in Norfolk, Va. His work outside of sports included the trapped coal miners near Pittsburgh, and, while in Virginia, the fatal USS Iowa battleship explosion.

A native of Norfolk, Va., Harris was graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor's degree in speech communication in 1987. In 2003 he was honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University. In 2004, he was the keynote speaker for Old Dominion's 100th commencement ceremony.

Among his other honors, Harris was part of SportsCenter's Sports Emmy-winning efforts in 2004 and 2005, and a recipient of the Silver World Medal from the New York Festival Awards, Robert L. Vann Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, and an EXCEL Award from the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals.

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