Jennifer Hale, 2015 New Orleans Top Female Achievers
Sideline Reporter, The NFL on Fox, Fox Sports
Photographed by Jeffery Johnston
Jennifer Hale has held a lot of titles in her life. From captain of the Louisiana State University cheerleading squad, homecoming queen and Miss LSU, she moved on to a career that started with serving as a political intern at CNN’s Washington D.C. bureau, then continued to various news anchor and reporter positions in Alabama and Louisiana before joining WVUE Fox 8 New Orleans in 2009 to anchor a four-hour morning show.
Along the way, Hale took home multiple Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as Emmy and AP Awards for journalistic excellence.
Then, one day, her whole career path changed. After years in politics and news, the NFL came calling. After branching out to do some sports reporting for WVUE, it wasn’t long before Hale was offered the position of sideline reporter for FOX Sports in 2011.
In the past few years she’s been on the field, covering the biggest games and names in professional athletics for NFL on Fox and Fox Sports Southwest.
“Definitely one of the biggest highlights is when I get to come home and cover a Saints game,” Hale says, noting another of her top memories will always be speaking with Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans this past April after the team beat the San Antonio Spurs to go on to the NBA playoffs for the first time. “I will always remember that game,” she says. “It was such a rush.”
An athlete throughout her life, including years in gymnastics, track and field and cheerleading, Hale says she’s been thrilled to make the move into the sports world.
“I’ve always been a huge sports fan,” she says. “It’s how my dad and I connected when I was growing up. In graduate school I wanted to go into either politics or sports, but the sports door just never opened up for me. I guess it’s funny how things work out.”
Mentor: I’ve been blessed to have had so many positive influences on my life. My dad, who passed away when I was 18, he always pushed me to keep improving. My mom is my moral compass: I’m grateful to her for instilling a strong Catholic faith in me. In the sports world, Dick Stockton, Laura Okmin, Suzy Kolber and Mike Detillier have been wonderful mentors.
Defining moment: No doubt when the NFL on Fox called and offered me a job.
Advice for young women: Females in the sports industry are judged harshly, so I’ve learned to always be overly prepared. Protect your reputation: it’s all you have. Always conduct yourself as a professional. Be kind to everyone, but only listen to the input of a trusted few.
Goals: This summer I’m starting a new endeavor to mentor females who are aspiring sports journalists. Many young women who are considering going into the field have questions about how to get started or how to handle certain situations, yet there are few resources available. I also can’t wait for the new Wellness Center to open at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center! I treasure my role as a health spokesperson for TRMC, especially since I lost my dad so early to heart disease.
Favorite thing about what I do: There’s nothing like the energy and atmosphere of Game Day. No matter how many NBA or NFL games I call, it’s always a rush!