As you’re undoubtedly aware, PTI’s Tony Kornheiser recently served a two week suspension from ESPN after referring to Hannah Storm’s red skirt and go go boots combo as “a horrifying, horrifying outfit.”. While Don Ohlmeyer (above) admits, “derogatory comments about a fellow employee’s appearance, male or female, should be unacceptable”, he uses his most recent ESPN ombudsman column to subtlety suggest that maybe Kornheiser had a point.
In terms of attire, all ESPN commentators are supposed to select their wardrobes with the approval of producers and consultants. The byword of corporate guidance is “appropriateness,” but a large number of the letters on the Kornheiser suspension questioned just that — the appropriateness of Storm’s clothing choices.
Storm is an excellent sports broadcaster — knowledgeable, articulate, likeable and entertaining. Her breezy, relaxed delivery works particularly well on morning “SportsCenters.” She’s had an exemplary career, but if critiques in this mailbag reflect the audience at large, her choices for attire are not helping either Storm or the network. If anything distracts the audience from interesting content professionally presented, ESPN should take notice.
It’s a little hard for me to understand what exactly about Ms. Storm’s get up has Kornheiser and some percentage of the WWL’s viewers all hot and bothered, but given that Ohlmeyer considers their opinions valid, maybe ESPN’s female air talent might consider an alternative wardrobe. For instance, hands up, everyone in the sports blogosphere waiting for Erin Andrews to don one of these?