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The Cocktail Hour

Cocktails And Conversation: Meet Sports Journalist Jason Pugh

WHO: Multi-media journalist, ESPN 106.3FM on WPTV NewsChannel 5 and FOX 29 television sportscaster and radio personality Jason Pugh.

WHAT: The Café Boulud White Cosmopolitan paired with the mezze plate of hummus, baba ghanoush, lavash and herb falafel; the charcuterie of selected house-cured meats and pâtés; and the Peekytoe Crab Capellini with fennel, bottarga, and Espelette pepper beurre blanc.

WHERE: Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court Hotel, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach / 561.655.6060 / cafeboulud.com / @CafeBouludPB

1 The moment I knew I wanted to become a sportscaster was: the first day I interned at ESPN West Palm. It was the day after the Miami Heat had lost to the Detroit Pistons in the 2005 Eastern Conference Finals. I watched Evan Cohen (5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ESPN 106.3FM host) do a three-hour radio show taking calls from angry Heat fans the entire time. I said to myself afterward, “This is what I want to do.”

2 What I remember most about my first time on live television is: just how nervous I was. There were a ton of college football bowl games on that day because it was Jan. 1, 2010. I was shaking when I got off the air from the adrenaline. It was exhilarating.

3 As a former college football player, some people might be surprised to know that when it comes to sports, I’m a huge fan of: the Washington Capitals. I never really watched hockey before I moved to D.C. Growing up in North Florida, hockey isn’t really a thing. When I got to Washington, the Capitals were my favorite team to cover. The players were down to earth, and everyone in the organization was super professional and nice. I was thrilled when they won the Stanley Cup.

4 Whether I was covering the Redskins, Capitals, Wizards and Nationals in Washington, or the world’s greatest golfers and tennis players here in West Palm Beach, I once got a little nervous in the presence of: Tiger Woods. He held his annual tournament at Congressional while I was working in D.C. I was super nervous because I had to go first. I’d never met him before. I’d only seen him on TV. It was by far my most nerve-wracking interview ever. I think I asked him a total of three questions and that was it.

5 People may see me on NewsChannel 5 and Fox 29, and hear me on ESPN 106.3FM, but what most people don’t realize about doing this job is: the tons of work that goes into making a good show. Most people think you just hop on the radio or TV and start talking. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes, editing video and sound, writing scripts, creating graphics, putting together a rundown. It’s also extremely gratifying to tell someone’s story to the community. That never gets old.

A native of Atlantic Beach in North Florida, Jason Pugh attended Florida Atlantic University where he studied Mass Communications and played football. He began his on-air career at ESPN West Palm in 2007, before relocating to Washington, D.C. in 2012 to become a weekend sports anchor and reporter at NBC 4 WRC-TV. In 2018 he made his return to ESPN West Palm, where he currently serves as producer, anchor and on-air host for ESPN 106.3 on WPTV NewsChannel 5, FOX 29 and ESPN 106.3FM radio. A board member of Inner City Youth Golfers’ Inc., Pugh is actively involved in mentoring youth. He currently resides in West Palm Beach.

ABOUT THE COCKTAIL:

The White Cosmopolitan

2 ounces Stolichnaya vodka

1 ounce St-Germain Elderflower liqueur

3/4 ounce white cranberry juice

1/2 ounce lime juice

1 Cafe Boulud signature frozen orchid flower ice ball

Combine liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously; strain into a carafe. Place orchid ice ball in a martini glass, pour contents of carafe directly over ice ball.