LATEST NEWS

New Year’s inspiration: Kenneth Jennings pushes on 27 years after devastating football injury

Kenneth JenningsIn 1989, I did a three-part series on Kenneth Jennings, chronicling his new life after suffering a devastating football injury during a high school game. It truly was one of the highlights of my career. I never saw him down or complain about his situation.

Twenty-seven years later, he has the same approach to life. Here’s a link to my story in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Take a few moments to read the story and please share with others. There is plenty we all can learn from Mr. Jennings.

An excerpt:

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Kenneth Jennings doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t celebrate the day he took his final steps and moved his arms for the last time. He even has a term for it.

“I just celebrated my 27th re-birthday,” Jennings said.

On Oct. 8, 1988, Jennings, then a junior … Continue Reading

Former LA Times sports editor Bill Dwyre reflects on past, future of business

DwyreExcerpts from my latest column for Poynter.

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You will be hard pressed to find anyone with a more unique perspective on the epic shifts in sports journalism than Bill Dwyre.

After 25 years as sports editor of the Los Angeles Times, Dwyre sought a change in 2006. He wanted to spend the final years of his career writing as a columnist.

In hindsight, Dwyre says it was the right decision. The view he got during the last 9 ½ years was much different than if he stayed in “my glass office.”

“I’m happy that I did get both looks [as an editor and writer],” Dwyre said.

Even though he says he isn’t retiring from writing, Dwyre recently bid farewell to the Los Angeles Times. He didn’t necessarily want to leave, but he says if somebody “offers you a buyout … Continue Reading

MORE LATEST NEWS

New Year’s inspiration: Kenneth Jennings pushes on 27 years after devastating football injury

Kenneth JenningsIn 1989, I did a three-part series on Kenneth Jennings, chronicling his new life after suffering a devastating football injury during a high school game. It truly was one of the highlights of my career. I never saw him down or complain about his situation.

Twenty-seven years later, he has the same approach to life. Here’s a link to my story in today’s Chicago Tribune.

Take a few moments to read the story and please share with others. There is plenty we all can learn from Mr. Jennings.

An excerpt:

*******

Kenneth Jennings doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t celebrate the day he took his final steps and moved his arms for the last time. He even has a term for it.

“I just celebrated my 27th re-birthday,” Jennings said.

On Oct. 8, 1988, Jennings, then a junior … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: One journalist’s journey from ESPN to shining shoes

Jeff BradleyAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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For the bulk of his professional life, Jeff Bradley has spent his summers at a Major League ballpark. He had high-profile beats covering baseball for ESPN The Magazine and the Newark Star-Ledger.

But last summer was different. Struggling to make ends meet ever since being let go by the Star-Ledger in January of 2013, Bradley worked as a clubhouse attendant at a country club near his home in New Jersey. He shined shoes, vacuumed the carpet and kept the bathrooms clean.

Bradley likely is the only clubhouse attendant who also has written about Derek Jeter for national publications. A few times, Bradley was mistaken for being a member. On other occasions, he ran into people who knew him … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: What NHL announcer Mike Emrick can teach you about language and journalism

mike-emrick-h1000-headshot_standardAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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I approached Mike Emrick with a request prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center in Chicago Monday.

I told him that I thought aspiring journalists and broadcasters–and established ones for that matter–can learn quite a bit if they pay close attention to his calls of hockey games for NBC and NBCSN. I asked him to share some of his lessons and insights about the art of mastering the English language.

“Well, I’d certainly like to try,” said Emrick, who is his working his 14th Stanley Cup Final with the Chicago-Tampa Bay series.

Emrick has more than a passing interest in teaching.  He got his nickname, “Doc,” for receiving his Ph.D in communications … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: Outside the Lines celebrates 25 years of hard-hitting journalism

Bob Ley and OTLAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Bob Ley boils down the essence of “Outside The Lines.”

“Let’s go commit some journalism,” Ley said.

There isn’t another show on sports television — and few others in television, period — that can match ESPN’s crown jewel when it comes to committing quality journalism on a regular basis. “Outside the Lines,” also known as OTL, will celebrate its 25th anniversary Tuesday with a one-hour special on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Ley, who was the anchor for the first OTL on May 7, 1990, admits the landmark anniversary caught him by surprise.

“A bunch of us were sitting around and we went, ‘Holy crap, we’ve been doing this for 25 years,’” Ley said. “They cleared out an … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: Former White House communications director on similarities, differences of covering sports and politics

P092206ED-1215.jpgAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Kevin Sullivan’s vast career in public relations has taken him from the NBA to NBC to the White House. Sports always have been a focal point, even for the most important job interview of his life.

In 2006, Sullivan was recommended to serve as the communications director for George Bush. However, he still had to pass the test in meeting the president.

Sullivan knew Bush, a former owner of the Texas Rangers, was a big sports fan. So he was ready when the president asked, “Where are you from?”

“Chicago, sir. White Sox, not Cubs,” said Sullivan, a native of Chicago’s South Side.

Sullivan obviously had the credentials, but the sports connection helped seal the deal. He then … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: The slow death of boxscores in newspapers

Baseball box scoreAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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Forget “Dick and Jane.” I learned to read by studying the baseball box scores in the newspaper. Many of you probably did the same if sports dominated your early years.

Once you deciphered the code, the box score provided almost everything you needed to know about a game. It told you that Mickey Mantle went 1 for 3 with a run scored as the result of his 36th homer of the season. Or that Sandy Koufax recorded 13 strikeouts in shutting out the Giants.

The box score has been a staple of newspapers since the 1800s. Yet like everything else in the ever changing world of media, its future is precarious in print editions, as sports editors wrestle … Continue Reading

Favorite posts from 2015: The lost art of using the phone

phoneAs we conclude 2015, I am reposting (is that a word?) some of my favorite sports journalism columns for Poynter.

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At the dawn of 2015, I made a New Year’s resolution. I vowed to try to rely less on email and actually use the good old-fashioned phone to reach out to public relations people on my various beats. Even if I didn’t have anything on the agenda, I planned to dial someone’s number just to see what was going on.

You know, how’s the family? What’s the latest at your place?

Of course, New Year’s resolutions never stick. So along with my vow to read more and eat less, I haven’t come close to calling PR folks as much as I had hoped.

I make that admission to show that I am just as guilty as anyone in … Continue Reading

Sports Media Friday: Is ESPN winning or losing? PR post cites ratings wins in primetime; Bloomberg story paints different picture

Koufax SISpanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media:

There have many stories of late about ESPN losing subscribers. So the PR machine tried to reverse the spin and tell the other side of the story. It did a post on its Front Row blog noting sports’ dominance in ratings during prime time.

ESPN’s Dave Nagle writes:

ESPN’s marquee programming – including the NFL, highlighted by cable’s first playoff game; college football, including last January’s debut of the College Football playoff; the NBA, notably the NBA Finals on ABC which has won the night among all viewers 48 consecutive games; Major League Baseball; college basketball; and the ESPYS – drove viewership to new heights in the 52 weeks ending Monday, Dec. 14.

Demonstrating the “DVR-proof” nature of major live events – as well as the enduring appeal

Continue Reading

Talking a lot, saying little: ASAP Sports has transcribed 1,364 interviews with Tiger Woods

Mercer Baggs of GolfChannel.com has a good piece on Tiger Woods turning 40 on Dec. 30. He notes that after all these years, we still don’t really know who Woods is.

However, it isn’t as if Woods hasn’t talked. From the column:

Tiger’s talked a lot over the last two decades. Did you know he has 1,364 transcripts on asapsports.com since 1996? That’s about 72 transcribed interviews a year during that span. Well more – over 200 more – than Phil Mickelson has given in a greater time frame. And that only counts when a stenographer was around.

Also, I had forgotten about this:

Back in the day, the early professional days, Tiger regularly came into Golf Channel studios. He did interviews. He even viewed tape. We could peek into the window of the library screening room and watch him

Continue Reading