, Salem, MA


August 28, 2007

From Marblehead to ESPN For Michelle Bonner

Michelle Bonner loves just about everything about her job.

As a sports anchor at ESPN, the former Marblehead resident enjoys interviewing athletes, writing stories and working as an anchor on "SportsCenter," a nightly highlights show.

"It's a fantastic job, with different days and hours to work all the time. Everything is always new and changing constantly," said the 35-year-old Bonner, who attended Marblehead High School as a freshman and sophomore.

"ESPN is an awesome place to work; it's the best job in the world. I wouldn't change anything about my job or my life."

Now living in West Hartford (close to ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn.), Bonner has worked at ESPN for the last two-plus years. For the last eight months, she has worked as an anchor on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter telecast, in addition to reporting for ESPNews or ESPN2 at times.

"I'm like a utility man," Bonner said proudly. "That's the fascinating part about this job; new and different stories all the time and different hours as well."

She enjoys virtually all aspects of reporting and talking about sports - with one exception.

Bonner says dealing with stories ivolving players such as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and his role in a dogfighting operation and gambling charges, as well as oft-arrested and suspended Tennessee Titans defender Adam "Pacman" Jones, are not her favorite things.

"I could do without the Michael Vick and Pacman Jones stuff," said Bonner. "You weren't inundated with so much criminal behavior five or 10 years ago. There were always DUI stories about people making a mistake and moving on, but in the last year or two some horrible stories have come to light that takes away some of the fun for me.

"We are journalists first and have to address these issues. The Michael Vick story is huge national news; unfortunately, it's something we have to handle. I went from doing updates on the situation to a half-hour show by myself after he pleaded guilty in court. At the end of the day I'm still a sports fan, but it's a horrible story unfolding."

Paying her dues

A self-professed huge Red Sox fan growing up, Bonner has strong ties to Greater Boston and frequently returns to Marblehead to visit her father and go back to her favorite spots.

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