ESPN Interviewed Playboy Model For On-Air Gig

UPDATE: Since I posted this entry, alert emailers have noted that the woman ESPN interviewed in December for an on-air position, Jennifer Santiago, posed nude for PLAYBOY pictorials in the late ’90s.

ESPN interviewed nude Playboy Model Jennifer Klarman for on-air job

WIKIPEDIA via the MIAMI HERALD:

In 1998, Santiago posed for pictorials (under the pseudonym Jennifer Klarman) that appeared in several Playboy special editions. In one of her pictorials, she posed alongside fellow Villanova Law School graduate and former Playboy playmate Victoria Zdrok.

The Herald also noted that Santiago showed up at a South Florida function as Governor Charlie Crist’s “date”. Santiago later protested the word date, saying she was not intimate with Crist.

I’m assuming the poor souls at ESPN didn’t know about Santiago’s softcore porn past when they interviewed her. If they indeed didn’t, it wouldn’t have been the first major TV outlet that considered her for a job - only later to find out she had posed nude.

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that in 2001, WBBM-TV was seriously considering hiring Santiago as a weathercaster when they found out about her nudie photos. Station officials were subsequently “mortified” about the pics. (Obviously, she didn’t get the gig.)

From the Trib’s coverage:

Then known as Jennifer Klarman, Santiago posed in 1998, she says, to help pay off $100,000 in law school loans. The pictures were intended for a Playboy special on lingerie. “If I had known they might end up in a book called Voluptuous Vixens, I might have declined.” 

“Might” being the key word there.

I’ve since contacted ESPN about the Santiago job interview and if the net knew about her modeling past before considering her for a job.

When I hear back I’ll post ESPN’s response.

In ESPN’s defense, it’s tough to vet every single candidate extensively when you have so many people under consideration for jobs. And I don’t know how seriously the network is considering her for a position. If at all.

Either way, safe to assume Santiago won’t be condo-hunting in Bristol now anytime soon.

Jennifer Klarman Jennifer Santiago Playboy

Jennifer Klarman Jennifer Santiago Playboy

 

Now for my earlier, eminently less interesting post on the subject:

I’ve got good news and bad news to end the week. The good news is, ESPN recently interviewed a gorgeous South Florida news anchor named Jennifer Santiago about an on-air gig with the network.

Jennifer Santiago LARGE

(Ready to raise the bar at the Bristol-area Roy Rogers?)

The bad news is that ESPN is claiming it has a hiring freeze for the remainder of 2009. But if the WWL really wants her, I have a feeling that move won’t apply to Ms. Santiago - who I’ve also heard happens to be a former very special acquaintance of Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.

There’s been no word on an imminent hire of Santiago since she interviewed with the ESPN in December. But I think she’d be a grand slam for the network based on her looks, ethnicity (Deportes!), reporting skills and *inside* NFL connections.

I’ve got an email into ESPN about the possiblity of a Santiago hire. And like I said, I’m not buying the whole “hiring freeze” line when it comes to high profile on-air talent. Especially when it comes to needle-movers (sorry) like Santiago.

From Wikipedia:

Bloggers have called her “the Angelina Jolie of news” because of her diverse resume and penchant for traveling to third-world countries alone for news stories.

With that I’m guessing her first assignment would be as ESPN’s SEC West lead correspondent.

Jennifer Santiago bikini

And a message to all you Google image searchers: the Jennifer Santiago I’m referring to isn’t, sadly, the internet bikini model also known by the same name. But she still ain’t too shabby:

Jennifer Santiago broadcaster

Jennifer Santiago broadcaster

Jennifer Santiago broadcaster