Maria Sansone Bio - Biography

Name Maria Sansone
Height 5'1
Naionality American
Date of Birth February 26, 1981
Place of Birth Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Famous for
Who would figure that attending a local basketball game would change your life forever? That is exactly what happened to 11 year old Maria Sansone.

Maria was a huge basketball fan and she and her grandparents spent many nights watching the Erie Wave play in their hometown of Erie, PA. This time however, things would be a little different. During halftime two boys and two girls were randomly selected from the crowd to compete in a slam dunk contest. They lowered the rim and Maria totally hammed it up wowing the crowd and capturing the attention of a sports reporter covering the game. Mike Gallagher, from the ABC affiliate in Erie, WJET-TV24 thought it might make an interesting feature to interview the kids. When he spoke to Maria he was immediately impressed with her innate ability to articulate her thoughts. Upon viewing the tape he said Maria possessed “a chemistry with the camera”. After the feature aired that evening, calls came pouring into the station wanting to know more about the little girl they had seen. Mike had years of experience in the television industry and thought he might have stumbled on a media phenom. His instincts would prove correct. He convinced the studio brass to create a segment for the news to be called “Down to Size” featuring Maria as the host. The segment had aired for only a few weeks before Maria found herself on the radar of the national media.

The Wall Street Journal wrote a feature article in the winter of 1992, followed by a frenzy of radio and newspaper interviews. Then she appeared on Good Morning America and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Maria appeared on to national broadcasts of ABC's Little League World Series, Professional Bowling Tour, Wide World of Sports for Kids, and reported from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, witnessing first-hand the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding saga. Later, she co-hosted Gladiators 2000, together with American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest. She became the youngest reporter in the history of network television (12 years, 6 months old), after sideline reporting for ABC’s live coverage of The Little League World Series. She went on to interview Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills; Michael Jordan; Bill Cowher; baseball legend Tommy Lasorda, and others, all before her 13th birthday.

Maria took a break from TV to be a 'regular' kid and attended Villa Maria Academy where she played varsity basketball. She attended Syracuse University, graduating in 2003 from the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications. While a junior at Syracuse she co-hosted Live with Regis and Kelly with Regis Philbin while Kelly Ripa was on maternity leave. Upon graduation in 2003 Maria headed straight for Manhattan where she worked as a VJ for MTV’s college network, mtvU. For three years she hosted a weekly music show called The Freshmen and traveled to campuses across the country. In addition she would work occasionally for CBS Sports, CSTV and NESN.

In Spring of 2006 she auditioned for a new internet web show on YAHOO! called 'The 9. Although the YAHOO! officials envisioned the host to be a male, Maria nailed the concept on her first read and they had found their host! 'The 9' debuted on July 10, 2006. Time Magazine named 'The 9' the best online video show and one of the “50 coolest websites”.

Maria is a regular contributor to TV Guide Network's "Hollywood 411" and can be found live on the the red carpet at all major award shows with co-host Chris Harrison.

Maria Sansone Photos