GALLOWAY, N.J. — If you tune into the ShopRite LPGA Classic this fall, you’ll be witnessing history. NBC announced this week that the event will be broadcast by an all-female team, a first for U.S. golf telecasts.
Cara Banks will handle play-by-play duties with Judy Rankin and Paige Mackenzie alongside as analysts. Karen Stupples and Kay Cockerill will be the on-course reporters, with Beth Hutter working as lead producer.
“I think this has been a long time coming,” Banks said at the announcement at the Seaview Hotel. “I am pumped … This is what I’ve been waiting to do.”
Hutter also made history earlier this summer as she became the first woman to produce the U.S. Women’s Open and women’s golf at the Tokyo Olympics.
“We’re thrilled to assemble this incredibly accomplished group of women for our broadcast,” said Molly Solomon, executive producer for Golf Channel. “Our NBC Sports team features talented women at all levels — both on-camera and behind-the-scenes — who are essential to making our coverage a success on every platform, and we’re honored to celebrate their work as part of this broadcast.”
The announcement follows a trend of women breaking glass ceilings with NBC over the last several years.
A March 2020 game between the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks marked the first all-woman broadcast crew for NHL hockey, while earlier this year Rene Hatlelid became the first woman to produce the Indianapolis 500. Lindsay Schanzer also became the first woman to produce a Triple Crown horse race during both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
“It’s 2021 — it should be like that” defending ShopRite Classic champion Mel Reid said. “It just goes to show golf is moving in the right direction. Golf has been slightly behind in that, so to see it progressing, even over the last year or so, has been pretty amazing to watch and something that I’m pretty proud of.”