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She won in Guatemala, but will she be a sports broadcasting Survivor?

Published January 30, 2006 : Page 38
Reprinted Courtesy of Sports Business Journal

“Survivor: Guatemala” winner Danni Boatwright hopes to parlay her victory on the reality show into a career as a sports personality in television or radio.

The former beauty queen was already co-host of “Weekend Wrap”— a two-hour, Sunday morning sports talk show on Kansas City’s KCSP radio — before her “Survivor” appearance.

“I want to keep doing sports radio,” Boatwright said. “I want to get better at it.”

Boatwright has received offers in both radio and television since being handed a check for $1 million for her “Survivor” victory in December. For the next two years, though, all offers must first be cleared by CBS, with which Boatwright remains under contract. “They’re very strict,” she said.

One offer that has already come and gone was to co-host ESPN’s New Year’s Eve bash, a Times Square rock show that was a first for the network. CBS would not give Boatwright permission to participate, and Steven Van Zandt ultimately shared co-hosting duties with Stuart Scott.

Danni Boatwright has been fielding TV and radio offers since her “Survivor” victory.

Boatwright said she would like to work in sports radio or television as a talk-show host or a sideline reporter. She already has offers to be a weekend sports anchor for a local television station, and to be a sideline reporter for the expansion Kansas City Brigade of the Arena Football League. Having to first clear the offers through CBS, Boatwright describes those potential gigs as being in a “holding pattern.” She has appeared twice this month as a guest commentator on ESPN Classic’s “Classic Now,” with CBS’s blessing.

Boatwright, KCSP and CBS have not come to an agreement that would bring Boatwright back to “Weekend Wrap.” All parties have agreed to her making a series of eight or nine appearances on the station over the next two months, though, according to station manager Michael Keck. “We would love to keep Danni involved with the station beyond that point,” Keck said, but neither he nor Boatwright will comment on additional negotiations.

As for working at CBS Sports, she has met with people at the division, but CBS Sports spokeswoman Leslie Anne Wade said nothing was in the works, stressing that all hiring is “competitive” and that if she does end up working at CBS, it’s a “process that would take some time.”

Before “Survivor,” Boatwright was best known as a beauty queen; she represented Kansas in the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1992 and the Miss USA pageant in 1996, placing second runner-up and first runner-up, respectively. Still a working model, Boatwright has given up serious aspirations in the field because of the travel schedule.

She said she wants to stay near her Kansas City home, break ground as a female sports broadcaster and root for the Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks. “I wouldn’t have done ‘Survivor’ if it was college basketball season,” Boatwright said.

And she wasn’t kidding.

Alex Brandes is a writer in New York City.

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