8 Things You Didn’t Know About ESPN’s Dianna Russini

Dianna Russini is popular with athletes and sports fans as she is exceptionally good at talking about some of the biggest names in the sport, but Dianna herself has a sports history that goes back to her school and college days ( she played women’s soccer for 4 seasons in university). The 38-year-old American sports journalist is best known as the anchor of the sports news shows ‘SportsCenter’ and ‘Sunday NFL Countdown’ on the global cable and satellite sports television channel ESPN. Dianna Russini began her career in 2003 and currently hosts the weekly show ‘NFL Live’. The 38-year-old’s first big career break came in 2015 when she joined ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor. 

Prior to joining ESPN in 2015, Dianna Russini was the main sports anchor at WRC-TV (NBC4) in Washington, D.C., where she reported on major live events on TV and social media.  Dianna Russini previously worked as an anchor and reporter for both news and sports for NBC Connecticut. During the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary,  Dianna Russini covered the Boston Marathon bombing and was one of the first reporters on the scene. 

Although she would later work for Comcast Sports in Seattle, WNBC in New York City, and News 12 Westchester, N.Y, Dianna Russini started her TV career as an intern at ABC News for Diane Sawyer and WABC.

Here are some interesting facts about how Dianna Russini found her way to your TV screens by taking a chance on journalism! 

Dianna Russini: 8 Interesting Facts About The Journalist! 

1. Quick Facts 

Date of Birth: 11 February 1983

Age: 38 years old

Height:   5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m)

Birth Nation: United States of America 

Nationality: American

Birth Place/City: Bronx

Ethnicity: White

Profession: Journalist

Working For: ABC News, WRC Channel4, ESPN

Eye Color: Black

Hair Color: Black

Body Measurements: 32-24-34

Famous for: ESPN 

Education: George Mason University 

2. Dianna Russini grew up in New York

Dianna Russini came into this world on February 11, 1983, making her age 38. After a little digging through the otherwise private sports anchor’s life, we found out that the 38-year-old has two siblings (an older brother and a sister) and she grew up in the Bronx, NYC. 

3. From the age of five, Dianna Russini wanted to be a sports broadcaster

When playing with her siblings in the backyard, the future ESPN host would add commentary to her brother’s games. Russini attended Old Tappan High School in New Jersey and was very involved in sports, just like her brother who is four years older than her. “In high school, sports were everything,” she told The Spun. “I was the biggest jock. You think of a jock in high school and my picture is right there. I played soccer, basketball, softball and I ran track my senior year,” she added.

Due to her great passion for sports, the future ESPN host  never entirely focused on journalism. During her high school, she was an all-state athlete with 4 sports and played basketball, soccer, softball, and athletics. According to one interview she gave, her weakest sport was football and her strongest was track. 

4. Dianna Russini went through life-changes in University

Although Russini was a 5-foot-6 striker, the New York native was a three-year starter for the university basketball team.

After graduating from high school, Russini enrolled at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia Campus), where she continued to pursue her love for sports. She played soccer in college, and she took on the challenge of making it to the Division 1 level; she decided to enroll at the Fairfax, Virginia campus of George Mason University as a soccer walk-on. According to one interview, Dianna said that she gained 20 pounds extra weight by her sophomore year and became the starting striker of her university team. The future ESPN host went on to graduate from university with a Bachelor of Arts and Journalism degree in 2005.

She also took up the responsibility of reporting from the sidelines for Comcast SportsNet’s CAA basketball games. With her broken, rattled Ford Explorer, the future ESPN host  would drive from Fairfax to D.C. for her Verizon Center in-arena hosting gig during the Wizards’ 2004-2005 season.

As you can see Russini did not abandon her interest in journalism during her football training.

Although she did an internship at some local radio stations, she remained insecure about which to focus until the 2001 9/11 attacks.

The future ESPN host admitted in an interview with High School Sports that this was the definitive moment when she decided to do full-time journalism: 

“I remember watching this anchor named Robin Meade on CNN. And I loved her, just immediately, there was something about her. I remember talking to my teammates about it and thinking, “I think I want to do this,” but I still wasn’t so sure. And then September 11th happened……….After that, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.”

5. ESPN/Career

As a student, this Bronx native became a Student Sideline Reporter for Comcast from 2003 until her graduation in 2005. 

The future ESPN host graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. For two years, between 2005 and 2007, she reported for News 12 Westchester, and soon she saw herself in NYC reporting for NBC 4. During her time there, the Bronx native helped sports anchor Bruce Beck cover Shea Stadium’s closing in 2008.  

Though it was a sad day for many fans, she found herself smiling, saying, “That was the first time in probably 10 months I had smiled on camera. I felt so comfortable. That was the world I had lived in forever. News was a challenge for me, but sports was natural.” 

Seeing her reaction, Bruce Beck told the Bronx native that news was probably not the best option for her career. Dianna Russini agreed, and worked for CSN Northwest where she became a host for the Seahawks and anchored the Blazers’ coverage.

Before she knew it, Russini was in Connecticut reporting for NBC, but their sports coverage was minimal which is why, after a small stint there, the Bronx native found her calling with ESPN in September 2015.

In her interview with High School Sports, the sports anchor admitted that before landing the job she worked as a local sports anchor for the parents of the man running SportsCenter. Dianna Russini also admitted that she “put in a good word” for her.

This popular ESPN reporter has also worked for WNBC, New York, Comcast Sports in Seattle, Portland, NBC 30 in West Hartford, Connecticut, and NBC in Washington D.C.

6. Networth

Two years ago, Dianna Russini had an estimated net worth of over $30 Million according to online sources in 2019. Not only this, but the ESPN host also earns an annual salary of over $300,000. 

This female sports journalist started her career as a reporter in News 12 Westchester/ Hudson Valley. Additionally, Dianna worked in NBC, Connecticut as a news and games writer. 

After that, Dianna would go on to join ABC News and  WRC Channel4 a columnist.  

Through her experience of running in a few Channels, Dianna’s encounter made her fit for taking a position as Sports Center Anchor in a rumored channel ESPN. 

Up until 2015, Dianna’s income may have never been the same after joining the famous  ESPN channel. Earning a considerable net worth of $30 Million, we can say that Russini has an extravagant lifestyle. According to her social media, this is how she spends her income:

  • This American, New York-born sports journalist loves to travel to exotic places and enjoy great holidays in good hotels! 
  • Looking through her Instagram pictures, it can be seen that Dianna Russini also loves to wear expensive clothes and jewelry. 

7. Russini Wedding or Husband?

Russini is still single and even took to social media to lament her solitary life on various occasions. Though she has never been married but has been romantically involved with several people in her lifetime. For example, in the year 2008, she dated David Wright, a baseball player, but the relationship didn’t last beyond a year. Wright married the supermodel Molly Beers in 2013. It has also been rumored that she is secretly engaged to a Manhattan Hedge Fund manager.   

8. Controversies

Dianna has been dragged through a handful of controversies, and the most blatant one happened fresh into her ESPN job in 2015. 

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan’s wife Jessica McCloughan was the first to drag Dianna through the mud by accusing her of being her husband’s side-chick. 

What’s worse is the fact that she claimed that Dianna gave players BJ’s in return for information about the team – sounds childish and immature but the wife of the GM, Jessica McCloughan later made the claims on Twitter that the account should be deleted shortly thereafter, so many sports fans speculated that her account was hacked.

Jess McCloughan later issued an apology saying that her actions were inappropriate towards the female ESPN sports anchor. 

A good number of sports journalists also slammed Mrs. McCloughan for her behavior, saying that her comments were only based on the usual false perception people often have about sports journalists in America who happen to be a woman. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *