Christine Brennan has been appointed the chair of the Association for Women in Sports Media board effective July 5.
Brennan is an award-winning national sports columnist for USA Today, a commentator for CNN, ABC News, PBS NewsHour and National Public Radio and a best-selling author.
She served as AWSM’s first president, started the AWSM Scholars program that has supported more than 200 students since its creation and funds two of the organization’s annual scholarships. It just scratches the surface of her impact on the industry as a dedicated mentor of students and professionals, devoting much of her life to championing equitable roles for women in sports.
“We’re honored one of AWSM’s original members believes so deeply in the organization and its mission that she’s returning to take on the board chair role,” AWSM president Iliana Limón Romero said. “Christine’s experience will be invaluable as AWSM continues to recover from pandemic-related economic challenges.”
Brennan is uniquely qualified to help develop programming and provide guidance to members facing difficulty entering the industry or staying in it as the sports media outlets and teams face economic distress. AWSM remains concerned many have responded by either freezing key entry-level job openings or laying off a disproportionate number of women and journalists of color.
“Christine and her vast contacts throughout the industry can provide invaluable guidance in the face of adversity and help our members navigate setbacks,” Limón Romero said. “We share a belief that AWSM should be an invaluable source of support for women at all levels of their sports media careers.”
Brennan said she felt it was a good time to return to AWSM’s board.
“I care very much about AWSM’s success,” Brennan said. “A few months ago, I was speaking with two of AWSM’s founders, my dear friends Kristin Huckshorn and Michele Himmelberg, and I thought, ‘Why not get back involved?’ It really was as simple as that.”
Brennan has been named one of the country's top 10 sports columnists multiple times by the Associated Press Sports Editors and has covered the past 20 Olympic Games, both summer and winter. In March 2020, Brennan was named the winner of the prestigious Red Smith Award, presented annually by APSE to a person who has made major contributions to sports journalism. She was just the third woman to win the award that was first presented in 1981.
She was the first woman sportswriter at the Miami Herald in 1981 and the first woman to cover the professional Washington football team as a staff writer at The Washington Post in 1985. She served as AWSM’s first president from 1988-90. Brennan won AWSM’s Mary Garber Pioneer Award in 2004 and AWSM’s Ann Miller Service Award in 2016.
Brennan is the author of seven books, including her 1996 national bestseller, Inside Edge, that was named one of the top 100 sports books of all-time by Sports Illustrated.
The Toledo, Ohio, native earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University. She is a member of the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement, Northwestern’s Athletic Hall of Fame and the Washington D.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
Brennan said she wants to share her experience with others as they work to help AWSM grow.
“I want to be available to help and advise Iliana and all of AWSM’s leadership,” Brennan said. “The last few years have been challenging for many organizations like AWSM, but I believe we can grow our membership, expand our programs and events and increase our advocacy and support for women in sports media, both students and professionals. AWSM plays an important role in American journalism. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish as we move forward.”