Join Anne's Network

Pioneering TV Sports Journalist

Anne Doyle and her father, Vince, at Tiger Stadium
My father and I spent many hours side-by-side in press boxes covering games, this is 1979 at Tiger Stadium."

In the fall of 1978, Anne Doyle became one of the first women hired in the U.S. as a major market TV sports anchor and reporter. She was on the air for CBS-TV in Detroit for five years until late 1983.

Her pioneering work and excellence in news and sports journalism earned her a listing in "Who's Who of American Women" and election to the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

Breaking Barriers

"Channel 2's Anne Doyle was in the vanguard of women sports reporters. Doyle, on the air between 1978 and 1983, opened the locker rooms to women journalists, earning plenty of discussion along the way."
Tim Kiska, From Soupy to Nuts! The History of Detroit Television

The daughter of Detroit sports broadcasting legend, Vince Doyle, Anne repeatedly requested, but was denied, access to professional sports locker rooms. Tiger General Manager, Jim Campbell, told her in no uncertain terms, "Over my dead body you'll go in our Tiger clubhouse." Less than six months later, a New York federal judge issued the precedent setting ruling that ordered sports teams to grant equal locker room access to women journalists. When baseball season opened in April 1979, Doyle was one of a handful of women sports broadcasters in the U.S. who made national headlines when they began entering locker rooms, along with male journalists, to interview athletes.

Anne Doyle and Vince Doyle

Anne Doyle and her father, Vince Doyle, talk about sports broadcasting and their careers in the following 1980 video.

As Doyle describes those days, "It's one thing for a federal judge to make a landmark ruling, it's another thing entirely to be the sole woman standing outside the doors of a professional sports locker room, take a deep breath, and force yourself to walk in."

Building Momentum, Earning Respect

But walk in she did. During her five years as a TV sports anchor and reporter, her mettle was repeatedly tested by some of the most driven personalities in sports, including Reggie Jackson, Bobby Knight, Bo Schembechler, Isiah Thomas, Kirk Gibson, Magic Johnson, and Muhammed Ali. She covered the NFL, NBA, NHL, major league baseball, NASCAR, Formula One and the Big Ten. She was a credentialed reporter for the World Series, Super Bowl, several Rose Bowls, All-Star hockey and major league baseball games, and the Thomas Hearns/Sugar Ray Leonard welterweight boxing championship. Inch by inch, step by step, she earned the respect of skeptical coaches, athletes, peers and sports fans for her reputation for breaking stories and getting exclusive interviews.

"Anne Doyle is going to make me eat my words about not believing female sports broadcasters talking about baseball and football. She’s good, no matter what the sport."
Bob Talbert, Detroit Free Press - 9/29/80

Prior to her years covering sports, Doyle worked as a radio and TV news reporter and anchor in Los Angeles, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan. She was also a news editor in the Atlanta bureau of United Press International and wrote for the Detroit Free Press.

To Learn More...

» Click here to learn more about women sports journalists in the 70s and 80s

» Click here for a four decade look at women’s progress and setbacks in sports reporting

Usage of content on this site for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited without written consent.