Sports personality Dana Jacobson is back in Traverse City… sort of. You might remember Jacobson got her TV start at TV 7&4 and then moved onto a decade at ESPN as reporter and anchor. Now you can hear her weekday mornings on 1310 AM The Score here in TC, alongside Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney, as they host a show on the CBS Sports Radio Network. In a recent conversation with The Ticker, Jacobson opens up about her TC memories, painful childhood memories, and her Super Bowl pick.
You worked at WPBN from 1994-1996. What are some of your memories of Traverse City?
I have so many great memories of Traverse City and my time at 7&4. I remember working alongside Dave Walker, Maureen McGuire and Dave Fortin. The Cherry Festival is a huge memory and sitting on the satellite truck during the parades. I spent many nights at U&I with fellow co-workers. This was before GPS and even MapQuest, so I would sit in my car reading a map trying to figure out how to get to all these small towns. But what I remember the most is how nice everyone was. Today I tell people that Traverse City is the best vacation destination.
Did you ever imagine that one day you would go from reporting in small town Traverse City to the national media?
My dream, like many young journalists, was to always make it big. When I first started doing television, I was a reporter covering news and wanted to be the next Katie Couric. 7&4’s news director at the time was Mike Conway. He knew I wanted to anchor, and also that I loved sports- so he let me fill in anchor for sports and I was hooked.
For the past 10 years, you were an anchor/reporter for ESPN, most recently on the show First Take. How has the transition to radio been?
It’s been a lot of fun. There’s a lot less pressure when you’re not worrying about how your hair and makeup looks or what you’re wearing. With Tiki and Brandon, it’s like we’re three friends sitting in a bar talking sports.
What’s a typical day?
I get up between 3 and 3:30 a.m. I get to work around 4:15 a.m. and go through sports wires and scour the Internet, after a cup of coffee of course. We are on the air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. – those three hours fly by. We then have a post-show meeting and after that I hit the gym. I try to be in bed each night by 10 p.m.
In June you opened up about being molested as a child by a teenager neighbor. What kind of support have you received?
The support has been absolutely amazing. After hearing a victim speak out during the Penn State scandal, I felt a need to share my story. Since then, I have heard from strangers that they too have decided to speak out about their abuse. Even if I only helped one person, it was worth it.
So who’s your Super Bowl pick?
While I love the idea of Ray Lewis in the Super Bowl, I’m going with the Patriots. Not sure if it’s just Tom Brady and the Michigan tie, but Patriots over Falcons.
Barber, Tierney and Jacobson airs locally Monday-Friday 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. on 1310 The Score.