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Ellis G. Cannon

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Ellis Cannon's Bio

Overview

A former trial lawyer, Ellis Cannon has had successful multi-media careers in publishing and broadcasting, establishing himself as one of the region's most respected, knowledgeable and entertaining media personalities for over a decade.

Mr. Cannon is a former trial lawyer in the downtown Pittsburgh law firm of Robb, Leonard and Mulvihill. Mr. Cannon served as an associate in the law firm before being elevated to partner in 1990. In the fall of 1996, he took a leave of absence from his practice to explore, and eventually secure, a career in sports publishing and broadcasting.

He serves as president and publisher of Pittsburgh Sports Report, Inc., which is responsible for the publication of Pittsburgh's only sports newspaper, the Pittsburgh Sports Report and KidSPORTS Magazine, A Parents' Guide For The Young Athlete. Mr. Cannon is also a well-recognized and accomplished radio and television media professional.

Legal

During his legal career (1984-1996), Mr. Cannon was primarily responsible for the handling and management of extensive civil litigation matters in Pennsylvania state and federal courts, including the following areas:

  • Commercial and personal litigation
  • Business torts, contract disputes, injunctive and declaratory actions and general liability insurance
  • Products liability litigation
  • Complex business, commercial and insurance matters, including liability claims, insurance coverage, director and officer insurance analysis and related litigation
  • Personal injury, premises liability and motor vehicle litigation

In conjunction with the above, Mr. Cannon had extensive trial and courtroom experience, including jury and non-jury trials, motion and brief preparation and presentation, and state and federal court appeals. His extensive civil discovery experience included conducting hundreds of depositions (litigants, witnesses, experts and medical; video and non-video), oversight and direction of investigation, and pre-trial matters before the court, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation matters.

Mr. Cannon's clients included major/mid-major Pittsburgh-based and regional companies, numerous national insurance/indemnity companies and individuals. A significant aspect of Mr. Cannon's practice was client development and management; accordingly, substantial commitment was made to client affairs and presentation of legal issues to that client base. A highlight of Mr. Cannon's career included successful representation of the Major League Baseball Players' Alumni Association.

He was certified to appear in all Pennsylvania state courts, including the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and federal courts (United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania; United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit). His affiliations included the Allegheny County (PA), Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations.

Sports Business / Media / Print / Publishing / Internet

Mr. Cannon and his brother, Henry, co-founded the Pittsburgh Sports Report, an award-winning monthly publication dedicated to Western Pennsylvania sports in 1996. The publication offers in-depth analysis, features and commentary from notable Pittsburgh sports writers and national personalities. The publication has been awarded five Golden Quill Awards by the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania, a nationally judged competition rewarding excellence in journalism. Mr. Cannon serves as publisher of the Report.
Since its creation in 2004, Mr. Cannon has also been the publisher of another monthly publication,  KidSPORTS Magazine, A Parent's Guide For The Young Athlete.

He managed expansion of the company's staff and office relocation in conjunction with the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), the region's largest not-for-profit economic development agency and developer of urban and suburban office parks in the ten counties of southwestern Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cannon previously served as a columnist for the Beaver County Times, a leading Pittsburgh suburban newspaper, during the NFL season, offering insight, analysis and opinions as part of the newspaper's Pittsburgh Steelers' in-season special coverage.

Radio

Between 2004-2010, Mr. Cannon served as the weeknight host of the highly-popular "Ellis Cannon's Sportsline Pittsburgh" radio show on WPGB-FM, believed to be the first sports-talk on a local FM station in at least a quarter-century, while also producing on-air, drive-time sports reports and commentaries. Mr. Cannon's show was the only daily sports program in the station's political newstalk format and consistently rated as the top evening talk show in the Pittsburgh market and among the top overall rated broadcasts in his time slot. In recognition, Mr. Cannon received numerous honors, including as a multi-year recipient of annual Pittsburgh A.I.R. Awards for Achievement in Radio ("Best Evening Show on a News Talk, Personality or Sports Station", "Best Sports Reporter" and "Best Sports Coverage Reporting").

Mr. Cannon was an on-air member of the Pittsburgh Steelers Football Network between 2004-2010, serving as the network gameday anchor and host of all Steelers' network pre-game, halftime, in-game and post-game coverage. He was also a member of the on-air broadcast offering in-game updates and analysis and covered the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and XLIII. Excerpts of Mr. Cannon's in-game comments during Super Bowl XLIII were included in the game's official NFL Films DVD. He also hosted several Pittsburgh Steelers players' radio shows through the years.

Beginning in 2007, Mr. Cannon's evening radio program served as the lead-in to the Pittsburgh Pirates Radio Network and game broadcasts after the Pirates changed flagship stations for the first time in over half a century. He also appeared as a daily sports commentator on the Pittsburgh Steelers flagship station, WDVE-FM (2004-2010).

Mr. Cannon previously served as a sports anchor for Pittsburgh's Fox Sports Radio 970 (WBGG-AM, 2004-2006) and hosted numerous programs at Pittsburgh's ESPN Radio 1250 (WEAE-AM, predecessors), including, "The Pittsburgh Sports Report with Ellis Cannon" (2001-2004), "The Pittsburgh Sports Report with The Cannon Brothers" (1998-2001) and others dedicated to the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, MLB, Pittsburgh Penguins and professional golf. He has also covered NFL Drafts, Stanley Cup playoffs and the 2007 U.S. Open.

Mr. Cannon also co-hosted national weekend programming for ESPN Radio (2001-2004).

In addition, Cannon served as the Sports Director and drive time Sports Anchor for Fox Sports Radio 970 (970 AM)  between January, 2004 into February, 2005.

From August, 2010 to April, 2011, Mr. Cannon produced "The Ellis Cannon Sports Business Report, presented by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School". This unique feature aired weekdays on Pittsburgh's KQV Radio, Radio 1410 AM.

"The Ellis Cannon Sports Business Report from Radio PA", also produced by Mr. Cannon, is a weekday three minute program airing via statewide affiliates throughout Pennsylvania since April, 2011 to present. Both the KQV-AM and Radio PA features were and are available at www and www.elliscannon.com.


Television

Mr. Cannon has appeared extensively on local and national television for many years in various capacities, including as a sports/sports law analyst or host on several national cable networks (Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC, CNN) as well as the #1 Cochran Sports Showdown (KDKA-TV), Steelers Saturday Night (Pittsburgh's CW), PG Sunday Business Page (KDKA-TV) and KD/PG Sunday Edition (KDKA-TV). 

Since April, 2010, Mr. Cannon has been the regular host of NightTalk on PCNC, the news and information cable network of WPXI, Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate. This one hour weeknight program features in-depth analysis and interviews highlighting top news items on the local, regional, state, national and international levels. Topics are wide-ranging, including political, economic, legal, finance, and energy issues with discussion involving news makers and recognized experts in each area of discussion.

During the 2010 high school football season, Mr. Cannon served as the weekly sideline reporter for the Comcast High School Football Game of the Week. Mr. Cannon will again join the broadcast team for 2011 season, serving as the color analyst alongside outstanding play-by-play broadcaster Chris Shovlin.

Teaching: The Ellis Cannon Academy of Sports Media and Broadcasting

The Ellis Cannon Academy of Sports Media and Broadcasting will once again be offering Sports Media and Broadcasting I, its flagship course at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. Initiating in the 2010 school year, this virtual classroom program is considered the first of its kind in the United States. Returning students from that first year are entered into a more intensive sequel for the 2011-2012 school year, Sports Media and Broadcasting II. Sports Media and Broadcasting I is very hands-on and is meant to prepare students who plan to major in broadcast journalism, communications, or any other form of media in college. Students from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania explore the foundations of the sports media, reporting techniques, and the changing world of sports journalism through the instruction of Mr. Cannon and his assistant, Marc Grandinetti. In addition, students will become familiar with the technical side of broadcasting, the Internet’s role in sports media, photography, anchoring, play-by-play, and the  economics of the industry. As with the 2010 school year, The Ellis Cannon Speakers Series will accompany the virtual class offering again in 2011-2012.

As part of the Sports Media and Broadcasting I curriculum, Mr. Cannon covered another Super Bowl, airing daily live programming in the form of Super Bowl XLV daily chats and interviews from the NFL Media Center at the Dallas Sheraton. Contributors to the chats included students and non-students over the Internet, while live interviews included numerous recognized and honored guests. Videos of those interviews are archived at www.elliscannon.com and aired daily at www.pittsburghsportsreport.com. In addition, Cannon also produced interviews of dozens of Pittsburgh Steelers as part of his week-long Super Bowl coverage, including pregame and post-game locker room reaction from players and coaches. He also produced and aired daily Super Bowl reports throughout the week over Radio PA network affiliates.


Honors and Non-Profit Associations

Mr. Cannon was inducted into two prominent Halls of Fame in 2012. In April, 2010, Mr. Cannon was inducted into the Beaver County (Pa.) Sports Hall of Fame in the Broadcasting category. In October, 2010, Ellis was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, East Boros Chapter.

Mr. Cannon's extensive community, non-profit and charity work has included making appearances and serving as spokesperson/honorary chairperson on behalf of the United Way of Allegheny County, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Myasthenia Gravis Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Pittsburgh Mercy Foundation and others.

He also makes appearances and serves as a host and master of ceremony for numerous corporate functions and was a feature speaker at the February 2003 annual Dapper Dan Banquet, a long-time and prestigious event honoring local, regional and national sports personalities and athletes.

In July, 2011, Mr. Cannon was honored to serve as the narrator of Aaron Copland's famous "Lincoln Portrait" with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at a holiday tribute performance conducted at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School by Thomas Hong.

Personal / Education

Mr. Cannon, born on March 28, 1959, has been married since 1985 to Yvonne and is the father of three sons. He and his family live in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Cannon was an honors graduate from the University of Pittsburgh (B.A., 1981) and obtained his legal degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law (J.D., 1984).

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