Ann Liguori - interview - feature

Radio & Television Sports – A Q&A with Personality Ann Liguori

***

Ann Liguori is a radio and television golf commentating phenomenon, president of Ann Liguori Productions, and owner of Sports Innerview Radio & Television, an archive collection of interviews she did with sports legends and entertainment stars.

Ann is also the author of A Passion for Golf: Celebrity Musings About the Game, and a champion of charitable activity through her Ann Liguori Foundation, a 501(c)3 public charity with the mission to raise funds and awareness for not-for-profits that work in the field of cancer research, prevention and cancer care.

Additionally, in creative collaboration with Holly Daniels Christensen and Dune Jewelry, Ann also recently debuted her “Hamptons Rope Collection” and Dune Golf items, using sand from your favorite beach or golf course, in beautiful, custom-made pieces.

Ann, who has covered Tiger Woods’ career from the beginning, broadcasted for WFAN-NY and CBS Sports Radio Network from the Masters in April, from the PGA Championship at Bethpage in May, and from Pebble Beach during the U.S. Open Golf Championship in June 2019. Her Sports Innerview Radio Show can be heard every Saturday morning from 9-10 AM EST on www.883wppb.org and on podcasts on AudioBoom.

***

ann liguori - portraitAnn Liguori

***

1. How and when did you first realize you wanted to work in your current industry?

I knew when I was three years old that I wanted to become a talk show host. My mom always watched Ruth Lyons host her daily show. She was THE pioneer of the TV talk show genre! We lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the time. My earliest recollection is being in a high-chair, watching this woman interview all sorts of cool personalities on her own television show. She was way ahead of her time and the show made a huge impression on me! It’s amazing what an impact a person can have on a toddler. I mean, how many people know what they want to do when they’re that young? And I grew up as an athlete so combining sports with broadcasting was a natural for me.

***

2. What is your biggest career highlight to date?

Biggest career highlight to date is difficult to pinpoint as every time I think I’ve achieved a career highlight, another experience surpasses it. I have covered 21 straight Masters for WFAN and more recently, CBS Sports Radio Network. It’s always a special championship to cover with many special memories of doing “ive up-dates on the coverage. But the one live call that sticks out was doing the play-by-play of what became the greatest shot in Master’s history when Tiger Woods chipped in from off the green on the par 3, 16th, his NIKE ball pausing on the lip of the cup for a good five seconds or so, before dropping into the hole. Tiger went on to beat Chris DiMarco in a play-off to win his second Master’s title at the time. But the way he executed that shot, the suspense of the ball tracking to the hole and eventually dropping in, and the timing of being on the air live, while it was happening so I could describe it to the WFAN audience, as it was happening, is a broadcast I’ll never forget!  And that shot has become Tiger’s most memorable shot ever!

***

3. Any celebrity clients or memorable stories related to your business that you want to share?

I’ve built my career interviewing an A List of celebrities – sports legends, Hollywood icons, music stars, businessmen and women who are super-achievers. My very first interview for my Sports Innerview cable series was with Mickey Mantle, one of, if not the most beloved figure in baseball history. It was the start of a series that aired for 17 straight years that I hosted, produced, sold, and distributed. The Mick was a great story-teller and an unforgettable guest. Over the years, I’ve golfed with and interviewed Matthew McConaughey, Celine Dion, Samuel L Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Joe Pesci, Kevin Costner,  and Sylvester Stallone, and interviewed hundreds of others including Ted Williams, Wilt Chamberlain, Billie Jean King, Bart Starr, Brett Favre, Wayne Gretzky, Mike Tyson, Roger Federer, and Tiger Woods. There are stories behind each interview that could be a best-seller!

***

4. How would you describe your personal style?

Classy, generous, and kind. Honest to the core. Fun-loving and passionate about everything I do.

***

5. What is a typical day in your life like?

I don’t have typical days and that’s how I like it. When I’m not traveling, I enjoy working from my home, enjoying a nice cup of coffee in the morning, running with my dog, swimming laps and then doing all the things I need to do to run my business – booking guests for my radio show, preparing for my shows, reading, researching, preparing for speeches, public appearances, acquiring sponsors for radio shows, coverage of golf championships, meeting with business contacts, organizing charity golf outing, attending functions, etc.

***

6. What are three never-miss events on your calendar?

Three (or four) never-miss events on my calendar are organizing and hosting my annual charity golf tourney in the Hamptons every June, which benefits cancer research and prevention; covering the Masters in April in Augusta, Georgia; the U.S. Open golf championship in June; and the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York the last week of August, first week in September, every year…

***

Ann Liguori at Pebble Beach Golf Resort ©Ann LiguoriAnn at Pebble Beach Golf Resort

***

7. What are your three favorite locations in the city you reside in?

My three favorite locations are my home in the Hamptons, the marina in the Hamptons and the house in Florida. The Hamptons is a special place, especially in the summer and fall.

***

8. What are your three favorite restaurants?

Cipriani in Venice, Café de Flore, in Paris and any number of amazing restaurants in Manhattan.

***

9. What about your three favorite bars?

My three favorite bars are the King Cole bar in the St. Regis, great ambiance any time of the year; the 21 Club bar, I love it there especially during the holiday season; and Comerfords Pub in Doonbeg, Ireland. It’s one of my many happy places in Ireland.

***

10. What has been your best New York moment? What about the worst?

Best New York moment? So many great moments but shopping along Madison Avenue on a crisp autumn day and then meeting friends for drinks and dinner. Worst moment? Walking the streets when they are not quite as fresh smelling as you’d like.

***

11. Name your go-to:  

a. Outfit: a Luisa Spagnoli suit or dress designed by Jennifer Tattanelli;

b. Fragrance: Jour d’Hermes;

c. Movie: The Sound of Music;

d. Book: Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking; and

e. TV show: Right now it’s The Americans on Amazon Prime.

***

12. Name your favorite vacation spot, and the hotel you stay at while there. What makes these spots special?

Favorite vacation spot is Doonbeg Golf Club in western Ireland. I’m a founding member, and the beautiful and classy lodge, excellent golf course, hospitable people, fine spa, and delicious restaurants are all very special. The village of Doonbeg is small but tons of fun with many pubs. It’s always great to visit with the Irish who are so welcoming and hospitable.

***

13. What are your favorites songs, albums and bands? 

Hotel California, Eagles; Brandi Carlile’s The Story; and anything from TRAIN.

***

14. What are three items you couldn’t live without?

My phone, lipstick, and golf clubs.

***

15. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

I’d love to meet Jesus Christ to hear him tell his story and be touched by his presence, and Michelangelo and/or Mozart.

***

16. What is something people might not know about you?

People may not know that I love to decorate my own homes. I’m a very good cook but my guy, Scott, loves to cook every day, so I’m relegated to doing the dishes!

***

17. When did you feel like you had “made it” professionally?

I felt like I’d made it professionally when I went on year ten of my “Hey Liguori, What’s the Story” call-in sports talk show on WFAN-NY, the top sports radio station in the U.S. The show went on to air every week for 26 straight years! At the same time, I was hosting and producing “Conversations with Ann Liguori,” a prime-time weekly, show on the Golf Channel and hosting and executive producing “Sports Innerview with Ann Liguori,” that was syndicated throughout the U.S. and aired for 17 consecutive years. I own that treasure chest of interview archives with legends in sports and entertainment.

***

Ann Liguori ©Daniel GonzalezAnn Liguori Foundation Photo Courtesy of Daniel Gonzalez

***

18. Do you have any advice for those aspiring to work in your industry?

My advice is to develop and work on your writing skills; know a lot about a wide variety of subjects; study and know the history of sports and legends in sports; realize there are no short cuts – work hard, stay true to your beliefs, don’t compromise your morals, be pleasantly persistent, honest, you’re only limited by your imagination; the sky’s the limit if you are clear with your goal setting and work hard enough to get there.

***

19. What changes do you think your industry will undergo in the next 5-10 years?

Changes in my field are ongoing, rapidly, but now, more and more people are watching their favorite shows at their leisure on their phones or iPad and are listening to podcasts. And those who continue to develop their own digital platforms, and work to provide excellent and meaningful content, will shine.

***

20. Is there anything else you’d like to share, discuss or promote?

I’ve collaborated on a jewelry line, Hamptons Rope Collection, and the Dune Golf items, all part of www.dunejewelry.com… Each piece is custom-made with sand that you pick from your favorite beach or golf course. Bracelets, cuff links, earrings, rings, necklaces, ball markers, etc. Check it out! They make wonderful gifts and keepsakes.

***

IMAGE CREDITS

Images Courtesy of Ann Ligouri, unless otherwise noted; Ann Liguori Foundation Photo by Photographer Daniel Gonzalez.

Lead-In Image: Ann, WFAN US Open Tennis Booth, Flushing Meadows, NY.