Veteran Fox Sports Producer Scott Ackerson Announces Retirement
Scott Ackerson, the 13-time Emmy Award-winner who joined FOX Sports in 1994 as coordinating producer for FOX NFL SUNDAY, a position he held for 17 years, is retiring. Ackerson’s retirement is effective in March, after which he continues serving FOX Sports in an advisory capacity.
Ackerson is currently FOX Sports’ Executive Vice President, News, overseeing FOX Sports 1’s news gathering and studio programming, including AMERICA’S PREGAME and FOX SPORTS LIVE, the channel’s signature nightly news, opinion and highlights program, a position he’s held since 2013. He relinquished his duties as the coordinating producer of FOX NFL SUNDAY in August 2011 when he was promoted to Executive Vice President and Executive Producer of all studio programming for the networks and platforms under the FOX Sports umbrella, which at the time included FOX Sports, FOX Sports Regional Networks, SPEED, FOX Deportes, FOX Soccer, FUEL TV and FOXSports.com. Later that year he was also named SPEED’s president and guided the channel through its transition to FOX Sports 1 in 2013.
“After a lot of thought, now seems like the right time to step down from the constant grind of running a 24/7 news operation,” explained Ackerson. “We’ve gotten FOX Sports 1’s news shows moving in a great direction, thanks to the very dedicated, hard-working team we’ve assembled. I’ve been in this business at full-speed for more than 30 years, and it’s been a great ride, but now it’s time for me to step back and see where the next chapter in my life takes me, hopefully part of that is improving my golf game. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and I want to thank David (Hill) and Ed (Goren) who 20 years ago amazingly handed me the keys to a show that starred Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson; Eric (Shanks), Randy (Freer) and David Nathanson for the chance to help launch FOX Sports 1 and run the news operation; and all the amazing, gifted men and women who I have had the pleasure of calling my colleagues over the last three decades.”
“We have reluctantly accepted Scott’s decision to retire from running the expansive news operation he helped build over the last 18 months,” said FOX Sports President, COO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks. “Axe is one of FOX Sports’ founding fathers. While his instincts as a news producer are exceptional, he made an indelible mark on sports television as FOX NFL SUNDAY’s producer for its first 17 years. The show’s stature as the No. 1 show in its time period places it among the most iconic shows in television history, and his contributions to the show and industry cannot be understated.”
Under Ackerson’s nurturing and guidance, FOX NFL SUNDAY immediately became America’s most-watched NFL pregame show in 1994, a title it maintains today, and took home the Emmy Award for Best Studio Show an impressive four times during his tenure as coordinating producer. That tenure also included five Super Bowl pregame shows, highlighted by the memorable post-9/11 event in 2002. His keen eye for talent and chemistry produced an informative, humorous and entertaining brand of NFL studio coverage that has helped advance the sports TV careers of Long, Johnson and Michael Strahan, while introducing NFL audiences to weathercaster Jillian Barberie and the hilarious prognostications of Jimmy Kimmel and Frank Caliendo.
In addition to Ackerson’s present oversight of FOX Sports 1’s news division, he was also given responsibility for the NATIONAL SPORTS REPORT on FOX Sports Net in 2000-2001.
Ackerson perfected his craft from 1987 through mid-1994 at ESPN. In addition to his nightly responsibilities as the coordinating producer of SportsCenter, a position he attained in 1993, he had numerous special studio assignments for ESPN, including the World Series (1987), Super Bowl (1989-93), and MLB All-Star Game (1993).
Ackerson broke into broadcasting as an intern at WBNS Radio in Columbus, Ohio in 1981. His first job came at WOUB Radio/TV in Athens, Ohio, in 1982. Over the next few years he honed his television skills in such markets as Huntington, W.Va. (WOWK-TV), Altoona, Pa. (WTAJ- TV), San Antonio (KMOL-TV), and Minneapolis (KARE-TV). Ackerson graduated from Ohio University with a journalism degree. He was a four-year member of the Ohio University bowling team.
Born in Ridley Township, Pa., Ackerson was raised in Columbus, Ohio. He resides in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., with his wife and daughter.