He has been called the “Voice of the SEC,” one of the most powerful people in sports media, the “King of the South,” and the “Oprah Winfrey of college football.”
Now, Paul Finebaum can be called a University of Tennessee accomplished alumnus.
The 1978 political science graduate was honored with the Accomplished Alumni Award, which recognizes notable alumni for their success and distinction within their field.
Finebaum, considered the leading sports authority in the South, joined ESPN in 2013. He does a regional radio show from Charlotte, N.C., and appears on a variety of other ESPN shows and outlets, including SportsCenter, College Football Live, College GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine. In August 2014, when ESPN’s SEC Network launches, a television simulcast of Finebaum’s radio show will anchor the network’s afternoon lineup.
Prior to joining ESPN, he served as host of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network, which was syndicated on stations throughout the south including Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee and heard nationally on Sirius XM Radio.
Finebaum’s work has earned him more than 250 national, regional and local sports writing awards including being named one of Sports Illustrated’s Most Powerful People in Sports Media in 2013, one of The Tennessean’s Top SEC Power Brokers in 2002 and one of the Orlando Sentinel’s 10 most powerful people in the SEC in 2009. Finebaum has been profiled in publications such as The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal and the book, “Great Call: Why the Finebaum Show is America’s Barbershop.” He also has written two books, “The Worst of Paul Finebaum” and “Finebaum Said” and is currently working on a book about his career for HarperCollins Publishers.
Finebaum’s award was presented by College of Communication and Information Dean Mike Wirth at a small alumni event at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
“I graduated with a degree in political science but it was the classes I took in the College of Communication and Information and my experience working at the Daily Beacon that helped me to develop the skills that got me where I am today,” said Finebaum. “I am very honored and grateful to receive the Accomplished Alumni Award. It has brought this proud UT graduate closer to his alma mater.”
Finebaum joins a variety of outstanding alumni who have been featured through the Accomplished Alumni program, including CEOs of major corporations, Olympians, authors, lawyers, musicians, U.S. ambassadors and civic leaders.
Pictured above (l-r): Erica McGee ’93 (McGee Communications), Ryan McGee ’93 (Senior Writer for ESPN the Magazine), Mike Moore ’84 (Senior Coordinating Producer for ESPN), Paul Finebaum ’78 (Host of the Paul Finebaum Show on ESPN), Dean Mike Wirth (UT College of Communication and Information) and Travis Haney ’03 (National College Football Reporter for ESPN.com).