My First Job: ESPN’s Vince Doria had quite 3-man staff in Ashtabula, Ohio

I recently ran into Owen Youngman, one of my former bosses at the Chicago Tribune. It reminded me I had yet to post Vince Doria’s entry in the My First Job series.

Doria has enjoyed an illustrious career. He was the sports editor of the Boston Globe in the 1980s, when the section hummed with big names like Will McDonough, Peter Gammons and Bob Ryan. He served as a top editor at The National and ultimately landed at ESPN, where he now is senior vice-president and director of news.

Yet as is the case with virtually everyone else, it started humbly for Doria. Back in the early 70s, he was the sports editor of the Ashtabula (Ohio) Star-Beacon.

It turns out his small fledgling staff included the young Youngman brothers: Owen, who went on to become at top editor at the Tribune; and Randy, the long-time sports columnist for the Orange County Register.

Here is the latest edition of My First Job:


I was just out of school at Ohio State and planned on going to law school. I was working part-time for the Columbus morning paper. I walked in a fraternity house and this guy has a want ad. It was for a job as sports editor in Ashtabula. I said this might be a lark for six months before I go to law school.

I’m not expecting much at that paper. One of my staffers was this kid who still was in high school. Owen Youngman. He’s keeping statistics. He’s got this matrix for the high school tennis team.

His brother Randy was writing for the paper. Both went on to do some pretty good things in the business. We had a great sports section, unlike anything ever seen in Ashtabula, nor seen since.

The sports editor did everything. You wrote columns, you covered games. You laid out the paper. You edited all the material. The paper was very sports oriented. We ran all these big tournaments; golf, tennis, etc..

If you were the sports editor, you also ran all of those tournaments. On a typical day of a tournament, you’d come in at 6 in the morning and put the paper together. It would go to print at 10. Then you would go out and run the tournament. It would go all friggin’ day until 7-8. Guys would be drunk, everything else. Then you’d come back in and write up the whole thing.

They also had a wire service. After writing the story, you had to put it out on this old teletype machine that looked like it was leftover from WWII. Now it’s about midnight. We’re in there, and Owen and Randy and I have all these tennis balls. Nobody goes home. We’re throwing tennis balls all over the place.

I tell Owen, ‘I bet you when they took that press out, they found some tennis balls.’

I got to do everything. As much as the writing aspect, the ability to lay it all out was a terrific experience. I went from there to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

We had a great time in Ashtabula. By the way, there was an 8-year kid who lived down the street: Urban Meyer.



Rich Eisen My First Job: From stand-up comic to Redding Calif. to Super Bowl

It doesn’t get any bigger for Rich Eisen Sunday than being the lead horse for the NFL Network’s coverage of the Super Bowl. He will host an 8 1/2-hour pregame show surrounded by current and future Hall of Famers. All in all, not a bad gig.

Yet once upon a time, Eisen was a raw anchor trying to make a name for himself in Redding, Calif.

In a Super Bowl edition of My First Job, Eisen recalls a particularly rough night when he was just breaking into the business. And I’m sure he will be delighted that I found a Youtube clip of him delivering the sports in 1995. His hairstyle, like mine, definitely has changed.

Here’s Eisen on his first job, which led to an eventual call from ESPN:


When I was in college, I did stand-up at the student union at Michigan once a month. It has made everything else I’ve done in my career very easy. Nothing comes close to the intensity and nerves of doing stand-up comedy. Going on the road–anybody who does that for a living has my utmost respect.

I decided maybe I could combine the things I love, which is sports and comedy, and get on SportsCenter.

I started in Redding, Calif., KRCR, the ABC-affiliate on election night of ’94. It’s about 3 1/2 hours north of Sacramento. It was like an episode of Northern Exposure, a Jew in the mountain community.

On Saturdays in a small outfit, there’s just me, the news anchor and one person working the tapes. One night, nothing went right. Tapes were going to black and sound bites weren’t working and the graphics were brutal. At one point, I looked at the camera and said, ‘I’m broiling in my own sweat.’ It was one of those boom-goes-the-dynamite moments. I decided to talk about the elephant in the room.

How soon did you get to ESPN?

I was in Redding for 1 1/2 years. I sent a tape to a head hunter in ’95. Al Jaffe of ESPN called me and said he saw my tape and wanted to interview me. That was five minutes after an agent from William Morris called me and said he heard I was an up-and-coming sportscasters.

I said, “OK, if you say so, I’m about to drive 60 miles to cover a volleyball game. I’m not feeling hot at all.”

I called my brother and said, “You’re not going to believe what’s happening…”

I get off the phone and the phone rings again. The guy said it was Al Jaffe.

I’m thinking to myself, ‘It’s not Al Jaffe. My brother called my friends in Staten Island and told them to call me.’

It really was Al Jaffe. So I almost carpet F-bombed Al Jaffe the first time I talked to him. Luckily, I didn’t.


Eisen went to ESPN in 1996 and stayed in Bristol until 2003. Then he made the big move, jumping the WWL to become the voice of the NFL’s new start-up network in 2003.



My First Job: Gottlieb predicts Patriots doomed with Brady at QB; Set to debut new CBS Sports Network show Monday

Doug Gottlieb is ready to roll on his new gig with CBS. Monday, he will debut a new show, Lead Off, on CBS Sports Network. Airing at Midnight ET, the nightly program will focus on the next day’s conversation in sports (Details below).

Also, Gottlieb soon will have an afternoon show on the new CBS Sports Radio Network and he will be part of CBS’ NCAA tournament coverage.

Now that he has reached the top, it seems to be a good time to reflect on how he got started. Gottlieb has come a long way since his days as a guard at Oklahoma State. Even back then, he was thinking about a career in broadcasting.

In the latest edition of My First Job, Gottlieb recalls his first jobs in the business and how he was just slightly off on his first prediction about a back up quarterback named Tom Brady.


When I was in school, I did some guest-hosting with Jim Traber in Oklahoma City. Then when I got out, I filled him for him. I got $100 per show, and $200 for a remote.

Also, I went on Jim Rome’s show as his college basketball analyst. Todd Wright at ESPN always had me on his all-night show.

My first show for ESPN Radio was filling in for Todd. They wanted him to go to Bristol the first week after 9/11. He wouldn’t go on a plane, so they asked me.

I watched all the (NFL) games on that Sunday. Drew Bledsoe got hurt that day. I said, ‘That’s it. The Patriots are finished. They can’t win with a quarterback who never played before.’ I had never heard of Tom Brady. So much for that prediction.

After I was done playing, ESPN called and asked if I wanted to do an audition. My first game was with Dave Revsine. It was Colorado-UNC Charlotte. We thought we killed it. We emptied our notebooks and gave everything we had.

When we got back, (a top executive) said, “You guys were horrible. You talked too much. You talked over each other.”

OK, that’s a nice start.

I eventually got on TV at ESPNNews. Then I did some stuff at ESPNU. I did a month of shows I believe nobody ever saw. Literally, there was one show where the lights went out on camera. But we kept going with the lights off. It was a memorable night, to say the least.


Here are the details of Gottlieb’s new show from CBS:

CBS Sports Network’s new live, late night show, LEAD OFF, which will air weekdays from 12:00-1:00 AM, ET, debuts Monday, Oct. 22. The show has added Allie LaForce as co-host, teaming with Doug Gottlieb. LEAD OFF will feature commentary and debate on the top stories and news with a focus on the next day’s conversation.

Gottlieb and LaForce will lead off together this week as contributors on ROME, which airs on CBS Sports Network from 6:00-6:30 PM, ET.

LaForce previously worked for Fox 8 News inCleveland,Ohioas a sports anchor, as well as a color analyst and sideline reporter for the regional sports network SportsTimeOhio. She also has been a studio host covering the Mid-American Conference and various high school championships.

LaForce graduated magna cum laude from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She was a member of theOhioUniversitywomen’s basketball team for two years, before leaving to start her broadcasting career. In 2005, LaForce was named Miss Teen USA, the first winner from the state of Ohio.

LEAD OFF will provide perspective on the sports news of the day, advancing the storylines fans will be discussing in the morning. The show will serve as the first opportunity for sports fans to discuss and debate, ‘What’s next?’, while featuring a mix of live guests, highlights, energetic debate and commentary from Gottlieb, LaForce and others, reacting to the biggest stories and events of the day, with a targeted focus on the hot topics and tomorrow’s headlines.

LEAD OFF will be produced by dick clark productions, and originate from CBS Sports Network’s Orange County, California-based studio.



My First Job: Roger Maltbie tells off producer during first Ryder Cup; Thought his NBC career was over

Roger Maltbie will be working his 11th Ryder Cup for NBC.

However, back in 1991, Maltbie feared his broadcast career was over after his first Ryder Cup.

In today’s My First Job, an on-going series on people’s first forays in the business, Maltbie discusses why he decided to leave the PGA Tour even though he still was exempt to play for several more years.

And Maltbie talks about how he told off the producer in the aftermath of Mark Calcavvechia’s meltdown at Kiawah in 1991. When the confrontation happened, he didn’t expect to be on hand for a second Ryder Cup.


Roger Maltbie: Announcing came out of the blue. In 1987, NBC tried out a bunch of us at Kapalua. Koch was there. Johnny Miller. Dick Stockton. Irwin. They offered me a job, but I said, ‘No thank you. For what you’re offering me, it doesn’t make sense.’

They asked me again in ’89. They had a big schedule of events. I wasn’t interested. I wanted to play more golf.

By 1991, I had two shoulder surgeries. I had won the World Series of Golf in 1985. That gave me a 10-year exemption through ’95. I could still play, but I wasn’t the same.

They asked if I wanted to do the Bob Hope. I said, ‘OK, but only if you give me the Ryder Cup (later that year in Kiawah).’ The Ryder Cup was getting big, and I wanted to be there.

I remember on the last day Mark Calcavecchia lost the last five holes of his match. (Producer Terry O’Neill) said, ‘Leave your match and go find Calc to get an interview.’ Calc was in a TV trailer. Peter Kostis was trying to console him.

Mark was in no condition to talk. He thought he just cost the U.S. the Ryder Cup. He was physically ill. His eyes were swollen shut from crying. I walked in, took one look. Peter shook his head. I said, ‘I get it.’

I walked back to the compound, and O’Neil was in the doorway. I said, ‘I found Calc, but he can’t speak.’

He said, ‘I told you to stay with him. Stay with him and he’ll talk.’

I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, pal. Why don’t you stay with him and maybe he’ll talk to you. I’m not doing it.’

I wasn’t going to be the reporter standing outside the house that’s burning down trying to interview the people who own it.

I figured, ‘Well, so much for the TV thing.’ I thought, there’s no way they’re going to hire me now.

Thankfully, they did.