Longtime ESPN And CNN Sportscaster Dies At 66

Fred Hickman has been making his mark in sports broadcasting for over four decades. He is well known for co-anchoring “Sports Tonight” on CNN with Nick Charles back in 1980. He is also known for being the first ever person on air on Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES) in 2002. 

Throughout his sportscasting career, Hickman has worked on ESPN, CNN, TBS and FOX Sports South. During his career, he won a New York Sports Emmy and two CableACE awards.

According to Hickman’s wife Shiela, in February 2022, shortly after Hickman retired from sportscasting to write a book and start a podcast, he was diagnosed with cancer. Now, just months later, Hickman has died at the age of 66. Shiela told The Hollywood Reporter that he was in a hospital in Kissimmee, Florida, at the time of his death.

Many of Hickman’s former co-workers were shocked at the news of his death and expressed their sorrow on Twitter, sharing tributes to Hickman. For example, Hannah Storm called Hickman “a welcoming presence” and Laura Okmin called him a “true gentleman.”

Hickman went to college at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before starting his career on the radio in Iowa and Illinois. In 1978, he made the leap to TV at Springfield’s WICS. Then he moved to “Sports Tonight” on CNN in 1980. In 1984, he left CNN to work for Detroit affiliate WDIV but returned to CNN in 1986. Later in his career, he was on air for the launch of YES and hosted “SportsCenter” on ESPN. He also worked for FOX Sports South and the Black News Channel.

Hickman is survived by his wife and his children Mack and Gabrielle.