Sports Babe faces health concerns
Nanci Donnellan, better known as the "Fabulous Sports Babe'' and one of the pioneers of sports talk radio, is battling serious health problems and is no longer hosting an afternoon show on ESPN 1040-AM. Donnellan hasn't been on the air since Jan. 20. It isn't known when or even if she will be able to return.
Donnellan, who is thought to be in her late 50s (she has never revealed her age publicly), is believed to be the first and only woman to have a nationally syndicated sports talk radio show when she hosted on ESPN Radio in the 1990s. She took a hiatus from radio, partly to recover from breast cancer, in the early 2000s, but returned to Tampa Bay radio and 1040-AM in 2008. She has hosted a show there from noon to 3 weekdays.
The station would only say Donnellan is out for "personal reasons.'' Attempts to reach Donnellan were unsuccessful.
In her absence, various hosts have been filling in, but the buzz is that Whitney Johnson, formerly an update reporter on WDAE 620-AM, will take over as the host of the noon to 3 p.m. time slot for now. Johnson was popular as WDAE's update guy, but we'll see if that popularity is able to translate to hosting 15 hours a week.