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.