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Twitter’s most followed sports journalists

In today’s age of sports journalism, some of the characters covering the games have become just as big of stars—if not bigger—as those competing on the field.

Television gives journalists national exposure from plenty of eyeballs, and social media allows for them to interact and build relationships with global fanbases. Twitter, specifically, provides some tangible evidence to show who are some of the biggest names is the sports journalism business.

As expected, ESPN ha a healthy dose of on-air personalities topping the Twitter landscape in terms of followers, but the “Worldwide Leader” isn’t the only outlet that features social media darlings.

The other point that is clear when looking through this list: NFL rules the American sports culture.

Here are some of the most followed sports journalists on Twitter:

[ Note: After initially putting out this list, I received some suggestions for names to add. This is the revised list.]

Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) 1.4 million followers. The blogger turned ESPN columnist, turned author, turned documentary producer, turned occasional color commentator, turned editor-in-chief is the golden boy in terms of his social media prowess. He has more than double the Twitter following of Sarah Palin, and is known for his off-color sports commentary and occasional bashes with Keith Olbermann.

Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) 885K followers. ESPN’s senior football reporter has become one of the premier reporters covering the NFL, often using his Twitter account to break news around the league and offer analysis on various situations.

Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) 605K followers. Sports Illustrated’s senior football writer has adopted Twitter much like he did the longer format of the web to develop his Monday Morning Quarterback column, a weekly must read for football fans. King also regularly interacts with fans and answers questions about various teams or league issues.

Trey Wingo (@wingoz) 450K followers. The host of NFL Live uses his Twitter account to cover the league from a broad perspective. He does a lot of retweeting other ESPN personalities, but also interacts with fans on a regular basis, responding to questions and having a little fun with them.

Jim Rome (@jimrome) 445K followers. He rules the sports radio world and also does just fine for himself on social media. Rome regularly references his Twitter account during radio broadcasts and also often reads tweets sent to him on the air.

Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) 398K followers. Another one of the senior NFL analysts for ESPN is on top of just about every big story around the league, regularly breaking news on contract negotiations, trades and free agent signings. He’ll also entertain questions from fans about their teams.

Keith Law (@keithlaw) 359K followers. The baseball analyst and former MLB team exec writes for, covering baseball from a national perspective. He offers strong analysis and witty remarks, and you’ll also get some occasional tweets on food, literature and culture.

Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) 251K followers. One of ESPN’s top baseball writers has a loyal following on Twitter, and uses it as a way to weigh in a variety of baseball topics, break news and offer some analysis. He also interacts with fans from time to time.

Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) 238K followers. ESPN’s top debater (agitator?) is a compelling voice in the sports world. Although most of his time now is spent taking hard-lined opinions on ESPN’s “First Take,” and calling out Chris Broussard for his affinity with LeBron James, Bayless has a proven track record as a sports journalist and is a strong voice in the media.

Rich Eisen (@richeisen) 230K followers. The main anchor for the NFL Network and former ESPN anchor has a loyal following of football enthusiasts. He tweets about activity around the league, around the NFL Network and links to his podcasts but doesn’t really break news on his Twitter account.

John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) 205K followers. Clayton was late to the game—joining in July 2011—but his reputation as a NFL reporter and the power of ESPN’s brand sent his account skyrocketing in followers in just a few hours. He has proven to be a quick learner.

Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) 168K followers. Broussard is of ESPN’s NBA writers and an occasional guest on shows like SportsNation or First Take. He is one of the top reporters on the NBA beat, and has some great analysis on the game. He is not one of the more active reporters on Twitter, with only about 1,300 tweets.

Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) 165K followers. The host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption was also late to join Twitter, but gave in after seeing the role it plays in the sports world today.

Jay Glazer (@Jay_Glazer) 170K followers He is a senior NFL reporter for and does in-studio work for the NFL Network, and has a reputation of breaking news and offering thoughtful analysis of the game.

J.A. Adande (@jadande) 165K followers. The columnist specializes in NBA writing and west coast commentary. He was a former writer for the, and has raised his profile over the years by appearing as a regular gust on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.”

Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) 140K followers. The former Duke basketball star and current ESPN college basketball analyst has become a respected voice for college hoops perspective, and also uses his Twitter account to offer opinions on a variety of sports topics. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his Twitter account is this he follows nobody, and is the only person on this list where that is true.

Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) 125K followers. The NFL Network reporter covers the league from a broad approach, and competes with the country’s other top reporters to break the biggest stories. His Twitter feed keeps avid football fans informed with the happenings across the NFL.

Darren Rovell (@Darrenrovell) 110K followers. CNBC’s sports business reporter has developed and enhanced his reputation and reach through Twitter. His unique stats, nauseating food pictures and spot-on sports biz analysis have made him a must-follow for sports fans.

Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) 101K followers.  Katz is one of the top college basketball writers in the county, and also works as a college hoops analyst. His profile has grown in recent years, when he’s had the pleasure of chopping it up with President Barack Obama as the Commander in Chief selects his NCAA tournament bracket.

Michael Smith (@MrMichael_Smith) 100K followers. Smith is another one of ESPN’s legion of NFL reporters, and his presence at the station has grown significantly in the last few years. He has gown from a regular on “Around the Horn” to a fill-in host of “NFL Live,” to earning his own show. He uses his Twttier account for thoughts on all kinds of sports—not just the NFL—and to have a little fun with the fans.

Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) 98K followers.’s lead NBA writer has used Twitter to become one of the quickest to break news of transactions and movement around the league, and he also doesn’t steer away from delivering biting criticism to just about everyone around the NBA.

Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) 94K followers. The columnist uses Twitter as a way to offer his thoughts on a variety of sports and social issues, share links to his columns, tweet pictures of him at the strip club, and profess his love for HBO’s “The Wire.” Beware: expect plenty of sarcasm from his account.

By no means is this an official list, and I’m sure I could have excluded people. Comment below or message me on Twitter if I left some people off. 


Category: Branding, Journalism thoughts, New Media Thoughts, Social Media, twitter

Comments (2)

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  1. Dan says:

    Forgetting some hockey reporters out of Canada.

    Bob McKenzie is the leading news breaker when it comes to all things NHL. He works for TSN and writes for He has over 193,000 followers.!/TSNBobMcKenzie

    Darren Dreger is another journalist/analyst/news breaker for TSN and has over 165,000 followers.!/DarrenDreger

  2. Jim Barger says:

    Full transparency here: I work for ESPN. Wanted to call your attention to the ESPN Stats & Info account. Not the size of following of those on your list (41K as of today) but it’s an aggregation instead of a single-personality account and has really cool in-game and postgame notes and stats.!/ESPNStatsInfo

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