Tony Kornheiser, the longtime Washington Post sportswriter and columnist, is one of ESPN’s most popular on-air personalities as a co-host of Pardon the Interruption (PTI).
Kornheiser and fellow Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon have co-hosted PTI (M-F, 5:30-6 p.m. ET) since the show’s debut on October 17, 2001. Highlighted by the type of contentious but good-natured verbal sparring that the two engaged in for years at the Post, the program has increased ratings and viewership numbers each year since its inception with its unique, fast-paced, wide-ranging and humorous discussion of the day’s most important and interesting sports news and more.
In addition to the 30-minute PTI show, Kornheiser and Wilbon’s “Big Finish” segment appears in the opening 15 minutes of the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. Also, daily editions of PTI are available for download — and among the most popular offerings — on both the ESPN PodCenter platform and Apple iTunes stores.
From 2006-08, Kornheiser was a booth commentator on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, demonstrating his unique ability to inform and entertain viewers. Only the third non-former player to serve as a commentator on MNF (joining the legendary Howard Cosell and comedian Dennis Miller), Kornheiser helped MNF become the most-watched series in cable television history in its first three years on ESPN.
During Kornheiser’s time on MNF, he and Wilbon also took PTI on the road on Mondays during the NFL season from the site of ESPN’s games where they were joined by analyst Ron Jaworski for Five Good Minutes segments.
In addition to his ESPN role and former job at the Washington Post, Kornheiser returned to the radio airwaves in February 2007 as host of the popular “Tony Kornheiser Show” on Washington Post Radio (1500 AM and 107.7 FM, weekday mornings 8:30-10:30 a.m. and rebroadcast 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.) in the nation’s capital. The program also airs on XM Satellite Radio.
Kornheiser joined ESPN in November 1997 as host of ESPN Radio’s Tony Kornheiser Show, which premiered January 5, 1998 and continued until March 2004. His radio show previously aired exclusively on WTEM-AM in Washington, D.C. beginning in 1992. He also has appeared frequently on ESPN’s Sunday-morning roundtable program, The Sports Reporters.
Kornheiser, who started at the Washington Post in 1979, continues to write for the paper’s website today. In 2007, both he and Wilbon received the prestigious Eugene Meyer Award, which recognizes employees who exemplify the principles embodied by the paper’s former owner and publisher — journalism, business sense and hard work. Kornheiser has been a sports columnist there since 1984 and for many years also wrote for the Style section, attracting a large following for his humorous musings on topics ranging from presidential politics to his teenaged children, his elderly father and the behavior of his dog. These columns have been compiled in three books – Pumping Irony, Bald as I Wanna Be, and Back for More Cash. In 2008, Kornheiser was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Kornheiser graduated from Harpur College (now Binghamton University) with a degree in English in 1970. He began his career in journalism right out of college at Newsday before going to the New York Times in 1976. He is married and has two children.
– 30 –