Those Guys Have All the Fun, the oral history of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, has been one of the biggest sports media books in some time (both in the pejorative sense and the literal sense, at 763 pages). While there aren't many surprises in the book, it's still a fascinating look at the growth and internal workings of the network. What stood out to me, though, was the one paragraph from Buster Olney in which he describes his daily work routine. From page 667 of the hardcover edition"
"I usually get up at 4:00 or 4:30 depending on what other responsibilities I have during the course of the day. I go newspaper by newspaper across the country, collecting the links. Most of the time I write the lead of my column in the morning. Sometimes you sort of play off whatever the news story of the day is. If there's some trade thing developing, you know, maybe something that's been reported on the night before, you sort of just rip off a lot of things that happen in the morning paper, collect all that, and put it out by 7:30. Then I start my day. I go up to Bristol, have Mike and Mike at 6:25 and 6:42, then do SportsCenter at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 and noon. Then here more reporting and planning the show. Baseball Tonight will be on from 7:00 to 8:00." (Emphasis is mine.)
Look that carefully. That's a 16-hour day (4 a.m. to 8 p.m.) every day. That's three hours in the morning of reading links, collecting links, writing a blog post and publishing it ... and then he starts his day. Remember, too, this is one of the most-respected baseball writers in the business, working for a company thousands of reporters would love to work for.
This is the life of a reporter in the new media world.