Tom Verducci: Lessons from his approach to working as Fox analyst for World Series, writing for SI; Reporting common thread

Verducci and BuckAn excerpt from my latest column for Poynter:

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Tom Verducci is a busy man during the World Series.

He has a “night” job working with Joe Buck and Harold Reynolds on Fox Sports’ No. 1 announce team for the games. Then after the final pitch, he makes the transition to his “late, late night/early morning job” in writing columns for the games on SI.com.

Verducci says his game day routine usually ends around 3 a.m.

“There’s always November for sleeping,” Verducci said.

Perhaps nobody else in sports media has conquered the multi-media aspect like Verducci. He is the first non-player to work as an analyst in a World Series TV booth since Howard Cosell. He also remains a must-read with his baseball writing for Sports Illustrated.

So how does Verducci view himself these days: As a broadcaster or a sportswriter? His answer reveals why he has risen to the top in both categories.

“That’s an interesting question,” Verducci said. “To begin with, I view myself as a reporter. Whether it’s writing or during a broadcast, it is all about information and how to use words, either spoken or written. I don’t see myself as a writer who also is broadcasting, or a broadcaster who is writing. I’m a reporter with a job to convey information.”

There are valuable journalism lessons to be learned from Verducci’s approach to both jobs. A common thread is the quest for information, specifically new information. It dates back to Verducci’s first days at Sports Illustrated in the early ‘90s.

“At Sports Illustrated, you’re usually writing about teams and players that were well-known,” Verducci said. “You better have something new. You can’t just do a rehash. That thirst to find new information about a mostly-known subject always has been a motivating factor.”

 

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