Pat O'Brien (television): Wikis


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Pat O'Brien
Born February 14, 1948 (1948-02-14) (age 62)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Alma mater University of South Dakota
Occupation Sports commentator, Anchor/host for TV entertainment news
Religion Lutheran[1]
Spouse(s) Linda (1973-2004?)
Children Sean (born 1988?)

Pat O'Brien (born February 14, 1948 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) is a former sportscaster with CBS Sports (1981–1997) and a former entertainment news anchor/host for Access Hollywood (1997–2004) and The Insider (2004–2008). O'Brien also covered five Olympic Games, two for CBS (1992 Winter and 1994) and three for NBC (2000, 2002 and 2004). He authored the book Talkin' Sports: A B.S.-er's Guide, published in 1998.[2]



Pat O'Brien grew up in Sioux Falls and graduated from O'Gorman High School in 1966.[citation needed] He is a 1970 graduate of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.[3] O'Brien also studied international economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C.[4]


Early career (1970–1981)

O'Brien started his career working for KSOO TV-Radio in his hometown of Sioux Falls.[citation needed] After graduating from college in 1970, he worked as a researcher at NBC News in Washington, D.C.[5] and was a production assistant for The Huntley-Brinkley Report.[6] He then served as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago. In 1977 he moved to KNXT-TV (now KCBS-TV) in Los Angeles, where he earned four local Emmy Awards.[5]

CBS Sports (1981–1997)

Pat O'Brien is perhaps best known for his 16 year association with CBS Sports, which he joined in 1981. While at CBS, O'Brien covered the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Draft, NBA Finals, Winter Olympic Games, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, NCAA Football Championship and the Final Four. He has also hosted VH1's Fairway to Heaven and Lift Ticket to Ride. In 1990, he was a regular on The NFL Today with Greg Gumbel, Terry Bradshaw and Lesley Visser.

Entertainment anchor (1997–2008)

From 1997 to 2004 he was the co-host of Access Hollywood. His co-hosts included Giselle Fernandez until 1999, and then Nancy O'Dell through 2004. He became the lead host of the Entertainment Tonight spin-off The Insider from its inception in 2004 until 2008.

Other appearances

In 2000, O'Brien returned to the sports world when he covered the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney for NBC, appearing on the CNBC channel. He also covered the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah appearing on MSNBC. He also anchored the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece for NBC, this time appearing on both the Network and MSNBC. In addition to the Olympics, he also hosted the late night edition of the 2006 U.S. Open Tennis Championships for CBS Sports which that was his return to CBS after a 9 year hiatus.[7]

In 2001, O'Brien had a cameo appearance in P. Diddy's Bad Boy For Life music video. In early 2003, Pat O'Brien filled in for Casey Kasem three times on Kasem's radio programs American Top 40 and American Top 20, once in January, once in February, and once in March when Kasem took vacation time. O'Brien also voice-acted in an episode of The Twilight Zone entitled Mr. Motivation. His voice is used for a doll named "Mr. Motivation."

O'Brien has been parodied or targeted on shows like The Simpsons, Home Movies, The Howard Stern Show, South Park, The Soup, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Best Week Ever, The Adam Carolla Show, The Opie and Anthony Show, The Boondocks, Cheap Seats, The Showbiz Show with David Spade, and by Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live. He was also the subject of a TV Funhouse cartoon by Robert Smigel. In 2005 O'Brien appeared on the Adult Swim program Robot Chicken, lampooning himself and his hosting of The Insider.

Personal life


O'Brien filed for divorce from Linda, his wife of 30 years, in August 2004. They have one son named Sean (age 17 as of May 2005).[8]

In July 2008, O'Brien announced his engagement to his girlfriend of five years, Betsy Hoyt Stephens,[9] a clothing and accessories designer.[8][10]

Alcoholism and voicemail episode

On March 20, 2005, O'Brien issued a written statement announcing that he had been admitted to a rehab facility for alcoholism. Around the announcement of O'Brien entering rehab, a string of sexually graphic voicemail messages that contained O'Brien's voice started to make the rounds, particularly within the internet community and radio programs The Opie and Anthony show and the Howard Stern Show. The drunk dialing incident entailed O'Brien leaving repeated intoxicated phone messages upon the cellular voicemail box of an undisclosed female.

On May 4, 2005, O'Brien was interviewed by talk show therapist Phil McGraw, which was featured during a prime time special on CBS. He disclosed the reasons behind his alcohol and drug abuse since the 1960s, as well as his experiences during rehabilitation. O'Brien also expressed remorse for the voicemail incident and apologized for what his substance abuse did to his family. O'Brien returned to The Insider the next day, and reports from said that O'Brien had been signed to a new deal as host of the show.

On February 8, 2008, it was reported that O'Brien re-entered rehab and Donny Osmond would be 'filling in' as the co-host of The Insider[11] alongside Lara Spencer. On March 5, 2008, it was reported that O'Brien had been removed from The Insider, with Osmond taking his place[12] However, a month later O'Brien resumed his hosting duties after Osmond declined to take a permanent hosting role. On September 18, 2008, O'Brien was officially fired from The Insider for writing a controversial e-mail to co-workers which insulted Lara Spencer, his replacement as anchor.[13]


  1. ^ Famous Lutherans. Accessed 2 January 2010.
  2. ^ Pat O'Brien (March 31, 1998). Talkin' Sports: A B.S.-er's Guide. Villard / Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-77818-9. 
  3. ^ About Us: Famous Delts. Delta Tau Delta website. Accessed 2 January 2010.
  4. ^ Pat O'Brien biography. W Business Speakers. Accessed 2 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b Pat O'Brien biography. Strategic Events International. Accessed 2 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Transcript of interview with Giselle Fernandez and Pat O'Brien of NBC's "Access Hollywood"". NBC Live. November 4, 1997. 
  7. ^ Pat O'Brien returns to CBS Sports to host 2006 U.S. Open late night show. Press Release. CBS Sports. 2006.
  8. ^ a b Tom Gliatto (May 16, 2005). "Black from the Edge: After a Phone-Sex Scandal and Rehab, Pat O'Brien Talks Candidly About His Downfall and Come Back". People Magazine.,,20147585,00.html. 
  9. ^ Jeffrey Slonim (July 15, 2008). "Pat O'Brien to Wed Girlfriend". People Magazine.,,20212608,00.html. 
  10. ^ B...for Betsy website. Accessed 2 January 2010.
  11. ^ Susan Donaldson James (February 12, 2008). "Most Addicts Find Little Tolerance in the Workplace". ABC News / Health. 
  12. ^ "Osmond Reclaims Fame with New TV Gig". AOL Television. 
  13. ^ Paula Froelich (September 19, 2008). "'Insider' Out". New York Post. 

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Giselle Fernandez with Larry Mendte (1996-1997)
Host of Access Hollywood with Giselle Fernandez (1997-1999) and with Nancy O'Dell (1999-2004)
Succeeded by
Nancy O'Dell with Billy Bush

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