ESPN anchor and former WMAR sports anchor John Saunders has died, ESPN reported.
Saunders worked for WMAR-TV from 1982 until 1986, the year he started with ESPN. He went on to serve a number of different roles for ESPN throughout his career. He was an anchor for SportsCenter and the host of The Sports Reporters.
RIP Jon Saunders- ESPN anchor worked at WMAR in the 80s. Many friends still work at the station. Was 61.. survived by wife & two daughters
— Christian Schaffer (@chrisfromabc2) August 10, 2016
Shocked to hear John Saunders has passed covered many sports events with him..Thoughts and Prayers to his family...Classy Gentleman #RIP
— manny locke (@realmannynation) August 10, 2016
Incredibly sad news about John Saunders.. Classy pro in world of flash & sizzle.. Heard great things from those who knew him at WMAR.. #RIP
— Rob Carlin (@RobCarlinCSN) August 10, 2016
ESPN anchor Hannah Storm reported the news of his death live for ESPN on Wednesday morning.
The Canadian covered college football, basketball and NHL for ESPN and was one of the most familiar faces for ESPN viewers.
"Our generous, talented and beloved colleague John Saunders has died."
Hannah Storm remembers her longtime friend: https://t.co/zRukBCuJDv
— ESPN (@espn) August 10, 2016
ESPN issued the following statement for a story on its website.
"John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades," John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, said in a statement. "His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
"He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time."
*WMAR Staff contributed to this report.