Behind the Mic: ESPN Re-signs Berman, Adds Brian Dawkins; Ryan Ruocco to Host YES NFL Studio Show

Compiled by Jason Dachman, Managing Editor, SVG

ESPN stalwart Chris Berman has signed a new multi-year extension to remain with ESPN. Berman will continue as the leading voice and face of ESPN’s NFL studio coverage as host of Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and Monday Night Football halftime, NFL highlight segments on SportsCenter and the NFL Draft. He will also continue to host the MLB Home Run Derby and ESPN’s U.S. Open golf coverage.

A six-time National Sportscaster of the Year, Berman joined ESPN in October 1979 – less than a month after the network launched. Berman’s extension will officially begin in 2013. At the conclusion of his new deal, Berman will have worked for ESPN for nearly 40 years…

Nine-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins is joining ESPN as a NFL analyst.  He will appear on studio programs throughout the year such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, Audibles and NFL32. Dawkins joins ESPN’s NFL analyst team as his former Eagles teammate, defensive end Hugh Douglas, moved from his NFL analyst role to become a permanent co-host of ESPN2’s Numbers Never* Lie.

…Ryan Ruocco has expanded his role with the YES Network by becoming the host of its This Week in Football NFL studio show, while remaining a part of YES’ Brooklyn Nets play-by-play broadcast team. As the host of This Week in Football, Ruocco works alongside veteran analysts Howard Cross, Ross Tucker and Gary Myers.

Ruocco began work at YES in 2007 as a statistician for the network’s New York Yankees telecasts.  His responsibilities soon grew to include play-by-play work on YES’ Nets and Fordham Rams basketball telecasts.  Ruocco also currently co-hosts ESPN Radio New York’s mid-day show with Stephen A. Smith.  In addition, he hosts segments on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard during Yankees home games and hosts and produces Yankees features on various digital platforms available through AT&T’s Yankees on Demand service…

…CBS Sports has added renowned Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache, as a medical consultant for its NFL coverage during the 2012-13 season. Dr. ElAttrache will be “on-call” all season analyzing and explaining injuries and interpreting injury reports. Voted by his peers as one of the “Best Doctors in America” since 2006, Dr. ElAttrache has operated on some of the top athletes in the game today including Tom Brady’s knee in 2008…

Heather Cox, one of ESPN’s lead game reporters across multiple sports, has been named the new sideline reporter for the weekly Saturday Night Football college football game on ABC. She will join play-by-play commentator Brent Musburger and analyst Kirk Herbstreit each week on broadcast television’s first weekly prime time college football series, which was launched in 2006. Cox has also signed a multiyear extension with the network where she will continue to work college football, men’s and women’s basketball, NBA and WNBA telecasts across various ESPN outlets. She joined ESPN in 1994 as an analyst on men’s and women’s college and professional volleyball and women’s college basketball.

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