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E:60 Roundtable: Not a Con

The reality of E:60’s roundtable

The Prime of E:60

‘Prime’ lens moves television toward a digital cinema look.

Robert Lipsyte

An Interview with Robert Lipsyte

“I’ve come to realize that most jocks are really sissies – they roll over so quickly for uber-alpha males, they’re thin-skinned and they like to beat on weaker people, including the women in their lives. Most of them don’t grow up until their playing days are over. Even considering them as role models for anything but hard work and peak performance is hilarious.”

“I liked hardcore sports writing most covering hockey and Nascar where people were interested in explaining what they did and why, the gritty joy of digging the puck out of a corner or pancaking someone into the Plexiglas…Most of the rest is speculation and blah-blah to fill time and space.”

“Did tanking on the steroids story, which is sports writing’s shameful equivalent of the weapons of mass destruction story, come out of denial, laziness, lack of chops? The current catch-up, blaming editors or mild mea culpas or trashing A-Rod and fellow users, is even more pathetic.”

Robert Lipsyte: Interviewed on March 24, 2009.

Position: Free-lance writer, Young Adult fiction author, TV host.

Born: 1938, New York City

Education: Columbia College, ’57, Columbia Journalism School ’59

Career: New York Times 1957-71 and 91-2003; CBS 82-86; NBC: 86-88; WNET 88-90; Twin Cities TV 2008 –

Rich Hofmann

An Interview with Rich Hofmann

My whole thing is I’ve never been a guy who shouts a lot in the paper. It’s partly my personality, partly a calculation. I’m not sure I can out-shout radio if I wanted to…I don’t try to take the loudest take – I try to take the smartest take, or a different take.
“I find myself less likely to write about a national event than I used to. If there is a choice between me writing about Bobby Knight resigning or the St. Joe-Villanova basketball game, which we call the Holy War, I write the Holy War. To me, where we are in 2008, the better column in Philadelphia that day is the big college basketball game. I think that’s what I can give people that they can’t get on espn.com.”
“Now my son is getting ready for college and he wants to be a sportswriter…When you hear that you have a range of emotions…it makes you feel good he wasn’t totally scarred by all the traveling I did, and all the times I wasn’t there for things…But at the same time I make him aware of the financial realities of the business now…”
Rich Hofmann: interviewed on February 8, 2008

Position: Columnist, Philadelphia Daily News

Born: 1958, New York

Education: Penn, 1980, BS (economics, labor relations, political science)

Career: Philadelphia Daily News 1980 –

Personal: married, two children (Rich, Casey)

Favorite restaurant (home): Amici Noi, Philadelphia (Old City) “great Italian food and a great place to sit at the bar and watch Philadelphia go by”

Favorite restaurant (road): “anyplace you can get more than five Philadelphia sportswriters at the same table”

Favorite hotel: Grace Bay Club, Turks and Caicos “fabulous and fabulously expensive”

Rich Hofmann, excerpted from the Philadelphia Daily News, January 8, 2008:

“ME, I AM neither for nor against boxing: Like Zen, it is,” says Joseph R. Svinth. It is a wonderful line, written by a man whose avocation is to chronicle death in the ring.

Tim Layden (Part 1)

An Interview with Tim Layden (Part 1)

“This story I was emotionally immersed. I felt the story. It was acting upon me. It was such an emotional time you couldn’t help but feel it…My emotionalism carried me through – somehow I got in my car and got to the office. I couldn’t screw up. I just couldn’t let myself screw it up. I sat down to write at 7 p.m. and finished at 10.”

“I’ve been doing this 31 years if you count college and what it always comes down to is if the people or the subjects of the story are engaged in what you’re doing. If you’re not doing an investigative or adversarial story, if the people connect with you – whether it’s a profile or an enterprise piece that involves something broader – then you have a chance to do something good and enjoy it.”

“To do your job, whether it’s a technical story or a profile, if you are a good listener and a diligent student I think you can do the job. You’re a bridge between the subject and reader. I’ve told athletes and coaches, ‘I’m the translator here, you say what you have to, but I have to explain and go one step further. I have to explain to people who know less than I do’. “

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