An Internview with Lisa Guerrero
this article ran in 2002, Lisa Guerrero has been been
added to the Monday
Night Football roster, as the sideline reporter for
the top-rated ABC Sports show.
will be a terrific addition to 'Monday Night Football',"
said George Bodenheimer, president, ABC Sports. "I'm
very confident that she will have great chemistry with
John and Al, and with her knowledge and experience covering
the NFL, she will provide great insights about the game
and its players."
Michaels, one of TV's most respected journalists, has
been the play-by-play voice for MNF since 1986. "Lisa
will be a great asset to 'Monday Night Football,"
said Michaels. "Living in Los Angeles, I am very
familiar with her work, and she will bring to the show
a first-rate knowledge of the NFL, combined with inquisitiveness
and vibrancy. I've watched her develop into a top-notch
reporter and am delighted she will be joining us for what
I know will be a successful run," he added.
© 2000 Fernando Escobar
probably recognize Lisa Guerrero.
you're a sports fan, the striking brunette may look familiar
from her daily update anchor position on Fox Sports Net's The
Best Damn Sports Show Period.
perhaps you've seen her doing her weekend job of reporting the
latest sports news on L.A.'s KTTV-FOX 11. Maybe you recognize
her from yet another sports job — reporting nightside for FOX
Extra Innings and FOX Overtime?
maybe she made a lasting impression when she posed a difficult
question to Dennis Rodman during a press conference, leaving
him crying and her fellow sports journalists stunned?
no? Not a sports fan, you say?
then, chances are you've seen Guerrero play evil Francesca Varga
on Aaron Spellings' Sunset Beach, or travel to Egypt
with Hugh Downs as the reporter for the network special Live
From Egypt - Opening the Tombs of the Golden Mummies.
still, you could've caught Guerrera in a guest spot on a television
show such as In the Heat of the Night, Cybil,
Matlock and Frasier.
yeah, and there's still over 200 commercials to her credit.....
So it might just be stating the obvious to say that Lisa Guerrero
is working pretty much non-stop, putting in 12-hour days on
the Best Damn Sports Show Period, weekends for KTTV-FOX
11 and some nights for Fox Extra Innings and Fox Overtime.
the moment, she's focusing primarily on her sports reporting
career, which has skyrocketed in the past few years.
has gone really well," Guerrero said. "Since I left Sunset Beach, it's been non-stop. All that growth happened
really fast, and at the rate it's going, I want to stick with
there are more choices looming on the horizon for Guerrero as
her career in sportscasting continues to grow.
terms of broadcasting, you have to make decisions about where
you want to spend your time," Guerrero admits. "When I'm
anchoring, I miss chasing stories in the field. Finding balance
in the biggest challenge."
of Guerrero's first challenges when entering the industry was
gaining the respect of the athletes she was assigned to interview.
was so afraid that the athletes wouldn't talk to me because
I'm a woman," she remembers of her first sports reporting
job in Boston. "You just have to hope that they'll grant
you an interview. Athletes don't want to talk to you, it's the
least favorite part of their job. So the hardest part is actually
getting the interview."
sometimes being a female sports reporter doesn't help in this
that initial reticence for some athletes to take you seriously.
Constantly there's a credibility issue; you're judged on how
you look. If you look good, people assume you aren't credible.
It's a battle you'll always fight if you're on TV and a female."
she wrote in her recent website journal, "When I first
began sports reporting in 1992, a TV executive suggested that
I cut my hair short, wear conservative suits, lose the lip-gloss
and stop smiling. 'After all,' he said, 'you need to be CREDIBLE.'
As if credibility goes hand in hand with looking like a lacrosse
tell 'em, girl!)
Guerrero is quick to add that in recent years, with female reporters
no longer being an oddity in the locker rooms, it's not as big
as an issue as it used to be 20 years ago.
© 2000 Fernando Escobar
she's already proven that she can run with the pack, if not
ahead of them, by landing exclusive interviews and breaking
stories. Case in point: Guerrero interviewed Shaquille O'Neal
last year during his media boycott and broke the news that he
wouldn't participate in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game.
her hard work and preparation would amount to little if not
coupled with her passion for sports, which developed at an early
attended numerous sporting events as a child, alongside her
father and brother, taking a special interest in football and
baseball. A born athlete, Guerrero excelled in softball, playing
first base and lending a hand at the pitching mound as well.
Guerrero's mother died when she was 8, Guerrero's father placed
her in theater therapy to help her deal with the trauma. In
record time, she quickly developed yet another love: the love
of acting. And as she grew up, both passions played a large
part in her life, finally merging when Guerrero joined the Los
Angeles Rams cheerleading squad in the mid-80s.
there, she served as entertainment director for the Atlanta
Falcons before going on to hold similar positions for the New
England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
it was while working for the Patriots that she got her big break
was at WEEI, a sports radio station in Boston, talking with
the morning sports guy," Guerrero remembers. "'You
should be on TV,' he told me. 'I want to produce your show.'"
he followed through with not only a weekly TV show on Sports
Channel - New England, but also a correspondant position at
led to getting an agent, moving back to L.A., and things happened
pretty fast," Guerrero said. "I don't have a broadcast
degree — I didn't pursue this in a traditional sense."
came the day which validated both of her long-standing dreams.
She was offered a sports reporting job at KCBS and a lead role
on Sunset Beach — both on the same day.
was a ball of tears," she said. "As an actor, you
work hard for years to get a steady gig. When that came along
the same day as the reporting job, it was a culmination of many
years of work. On that day, my dad said that I should go out
and buy a lotto ticket."
for the year of 1999, Guerrero worked non-stop, without a single
day off. Fifty-one weeks of work. No weekends off.
was working Monday through Friday for Sunset Beach, memorizing
20 to 30 pages of lines a night, then turning around and doing
the reporting job on weekends," Guerrero says. "For
that year, I didn't have a life. Didn't go on a date, didn't
go out with friends."
being a workaholic had its definite perks. Before she knew it,
Guerrero was meeting and interviewing some of her childhood
always idolized Tommy Lasorda; I thought he was bigger than
life," she remembers. "He was the first interview
I ever did and I was really, really nervous. Ultimately, he
educated me. I've interviewed him six or seven times since and
he is still the person who has impressed me the most."
one of the instances in Guerrero's career that most impressed
the industry was when she asked the question that was on everyone's
mind during a L.A. press conference for Dennis Rodman.
was pretty wild," she says with a laugh. "Rodman was
vascilating whether or not to sign with the Lakers. He had spent
three weeks of toying with the media, with the Lakers, so he
called a press conference at Planet Hollywood. There's no Lakers
personnel there, just Dennis Rodman, his entourage and (wife
at the time) Carmen Electra.
45 minutes late, which will make everyone else late for their
deadlines, and make me late for returning back to the soap opera.
He's filthy, dropping 'f-bombs' and talking about masturbating
with Carmen Electra," Guerrero says with disgust. "And
this was all being carried live on ESPN."
basically said he hadn't made a decision; he just wanted to
see if we would all show up," she continues. "He said
that if he signs with the Lakers and becomes a distraction,
then it was Guerrero's moment to shine — to say what everyone
else was thinking.
asked him, 'Aren't you a distraction already?' Then I called
him selfish. Everyone was silent for a moment. I was wearing
this pink suit, sitting in the back row. People probably thought
I was reporting for Entertainment Tonight," she
adds. "And he looked at me, silent. Then he just started
crying, saying, 'I'm not selfish.'"
left the podium and ended the press conference, leaving the
audience stunned. Fellow journalists rushed to Guerrero, asking
if the whole situation was some sort of stunt, if it was planned
© 2000 Fernando Escobar
course it wasn't, but the incident was enough to land Guerrero
in the public eye, and stir up interest in this gorgeous, brainy
reporter — both the L.A. Times and Sports Illustrated
published articles about her shortly after the press conference.
the recoginition hasn't stopped since. Although she's not currently
acting, Guerrero is looking for the right opportunity to prompt
will always consider myself an actress, whether or not I'm on
a show or in a film," she said. "I will definitely
find a time to get back into it. And I do miss it."
until her contract is up with Fox in May, she's more than content
to keep asking the tough questions, dig in for the next big
sports story, and take an occasional drive up the coast in her
BMW Z3 convertible.
she finds the time, that is.