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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Anita Martini, the first female TV sports anchor in the US

Anita Martini is a true pioneer in Houston sports broadcasting and is still remembered after her death in July 1993.

For Women’s History Month, KPRC 2 looked back at how the station hired Martini in the early 1970s as the first female sports anchor in the United States.

Her groundbreaking achievements continued as Martini became the first woman to cover a Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1973.  

A year later, in 1974, she was the first female broadcaster granted access to a sports locker room when Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston allowed her in the team's clubhouse following a victory over the Astros in the Astrodome.

Martini had learned to be strong as a child in Galveston.  According to a previous blog post, Martini immersed herself in baseball, following the New York Yankees on the radio due to asthma complications that kept her bedridden during her early years.

According to the New York Times, that love of radio led Martini to begin her broadcasting career with 740 KTRH (the eventual sister station to 101 KLOL) in the 1960s. 

After her time with Channel 2, Martini worked for stations such as KHTV 39 (now CW39 KIAH) and KRIV 26. 

She returned to radio at 790 KULF and 950 KPRC, hosting popular sports radio talk shows into the early 90s.

A brain tumor diagnosis in 1989 couldn't stop Martini from broadcasting in her hospital bed, but unfortunately eventually took her life in 1993 at the age of 54. 

Martini was posthumously inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2015.

On October 13, 2017, the K-TOR radio studio at Ball High School was renamed "The Anita Martini K-TOR Studio."

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