Ernie Johnson, Jr.
(born in 1956 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
) is a sports broadcaster for TNT
Johnson went to (M.G.C) or Mother of Good Counsel for his grade school.
Johnson's career began in 1977 while he was still a student at the University of Georgia
, taking a job as the news and sports director for the radio station WAGQ-FM
in Athens, Georgia
. He held that job until 1978, when he graduated from UGA with a Bachelor of Arts
. In 1979, Johnson began his broadcasting career in Macon, Georgia
, joining WMAZ-TV
after graduating. He worked there as a news anchor until 1981, when he moved to Spartanburg, South Carolina
to work as a news reporter at WSPA-TV
. Johnson moved back to Georgia
in 1982, this time taking a job in Atlanta
as a general assignment news reporter. He became the station's weekend sports anchor and reporter in 1983. He held those jobs until 1989, when he left to join Turner Sports. From 1993
, Johnson called Atlanta Braves baseball
games for SportSouth (now FSN South
), where he had a unique broadcaster partner — his father, Ernie Johnson Sr.
, a former Major League Baseball
pitcher and Braves play-by-play announcer.
The NBA on TNT
At TNT, Johnson is also known as "E.J.
", works as the studio host for the network's coverage of the NBA
, working pregame and halftime shows, as well as hosting the network's famous studio show that airs after each NBA doubleheader, Inside the NBA
. At the end of each broadcast, Ernie presents "E.J.'s Neat-o-Stat of the Night," which has become a popular part of the show but is sponsored by no one, hence the sign that says "Your logo here"; This changed in May 2007 when vitaminwater
stepped in as a sponsor for the segment. It should be noted that for the 2005-2006 season, his segments were sponsored by Intel Centrino and most recently Suzuki
. In the 2008 NBA Playoffs
, his segments were presented by Geico
. For all NBA-related shows, Johnson is joined by former NBA stars Kenny Smith
and Charles Barkley
, and, on occasion, Magic Johnson
, Chris Webber
, and/or Reggie Miller
In addition to working basketball, Johnson is also the play-by-play
announcer for TNT's PGA Tour
coverage. At TBS, Johnson works as the studio host for their coverage of college football
. In 2002, Johnson was co-winner of the Sports Emmy
for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host
, tying with Bob Costas
. It was the first time Johnson had been nominated for a Sports Emmy. In 2006, Johnson won the award again, this time on his own, snapping Costas' six-year stranglehold on it, including the year the two shared the honor. Since October 2007, Johnson has worked as the studio host alongside Cal Ripken, Jr.
for TBS's coverage of Major League Baseball
Past TNT assignments
Johnson's past work at TNT included roles as studio host for The Championships, Wimbledon
from 2000 to 2002, studio host for its National Football League
coverage from 1990
, and various duties at the 1994, 1998, and 2001 Goodwill Games
, as well as the 1992 Winter Olympics
in Albertville, France
and the 1994 Winter Olympics
. He also co-hosted Barkley's now-defunct talk show, Listen Up!
Past work at TBS also included working as studio host for their NBA coverage. Johnson also called weightlifting
for NBC's coverage of the 2000 Summer Olympics
Johnson Jr. and his wife, Cheryl, a licensed professional counselor, live in Atlanta and have two biological children (one son, named Eric, and one daughter, named Maggie) and two adopted children (one with a disability, named Michael, and one daughter, named Carmen). He became a Christian
following his episode with cancer.
In 2003, Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
, but continued his work through June 2006, when he began treatment.
Due to his cancer, Johnson Jr. missed TNT's coverage of the British Open and PGA Championship, the last two golf major tournaments in 2006. Mike Tirico replaced him in the British Open, and Verne Lundquist in the PGA Championship.
Johnson returned to Inside the NBA on October 31, 2006, while continuing his chemotherapy treatments. He had lost his hair due to chemotherapy.