SARAH NAMED TO CRAIN’S 2017 “40 UNDER 40” CLASS OF 2017

SARAH NAMED TO CRAIN’S 2017 “40 UNDER 40” CLASS OF 2017

Company makers. Rule breakers. Risk takers. Industry shakers. Sarah was honored as one of 40 people putting an outsize mark on Chicago business and nonprofits before their 40th birthdays.

Sarah Spain was hellbent on starring on “Saturday Night Live.” Becoming one of the nation’s most prominent female sports commentators—Spain is the only female co-host on ESPN’s national weekday radio slate—was not part of the plan.

A teacher at a TV-hosting boot camp in Los Angeles encouraged the Lake Forest native to combine her penchant for satire with her passion for sports. Spain, who had been captain of Cornell University’s track team her senior year, decided to give it a try.

There was no chance, however, that she could be pigeonholed as a bubbly sideline reporter: Back in Chicago, Spain tweeted strong opinions against sexism and domestic violence and shared her views on social issues while on the air at ESPN Radio.

“It was a no-brainer,” she says of her decision to use sports as a platform for broader discussions. “How could I possibly work in this industry and spend all my time just trying to be the cute girl that everyone wants to have a beer with, when I have the voice and aptitude to talk about things that are so much more important?”

Her candidness was an asset: In 2016, ESPN signed her to a multiyear contract and tapped her as co-host of its nightly “Spain & Fitz” national radio show. She’s also a regular on the network’s national daily TV sports talk show “Around the Horn.” Continue reading here

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