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VOLUME 16, NUMBER 1 -- September 7, 2009 (ESPN's 30th anniversary)

Behind the scenes at ESPN


Youth Journalism International reporters Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins, who worked on this series.

See our ESPN coverage from earlier issues:

In probably the largest project ever undertaken by ESPN, the cable sports giant completed its new digital center this year.

This facility, covering over 120,000 square feet, was built to give sports fans the ultimate ESPN viewing experience. - Justin Skaradosky


ESPN and teenagers have a lot in common – fun, technology, change, and most importantly, sports. But as much as teens might think they need ESPN, the sports media giant needs them even more. “Teens are the biggest fans, absolutely,” said Artie Bulgrin, a senior vice-president and ratings analyst at ESPN. “We skew to a younger audience.”
- T.J. O'Connor
(Sept. 30, 2002)

After years of watching ESPN every day from the confines of my living room, I got the chance recently to go behind the scenes and see what really goes on in there. - T.J. O'Connor


The critically-acclaimed ESPN daily sports recap show, SportsCenter, isn't as easy to produce as its laid-back anchors make it look. - Collin Seguin

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- Reporter's notebook -



What makes ESPN tick?

Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA): Despite its impressive reputation and fortress-like security, ESPN feels like a welcoming and fun place.

The company recently let down the drawbridge and invited us in for a look around and to write about its 30th anniversary.

We never imagined in our wildest dreams having this kind of access to ESPN.

George Bodenheimer, the company president, said that a lot people want to find out “what makes us tick.”

“You have to come here to ESPN to do that,” Bodenheimer said. Since ESPN doesn’t offer public tours and you can only get inside if you’re invited, we’re here to tell you what this castle of sports is like. Full Article


-- Opinion --


Working at ESPN would be outta sight


ESPN Anchors Chris Berman, left, and Bob Ley, right, with Youth Journalism International reporters Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins at ESPN.


Clare Hern (Connecticut, USA): When someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I usually say something along the lines of “I’m not sure yet.”

But I believe that I’ve found a place where I would truly enjoy going to work every day – ESPN.

I’ve been a sports fan my whole life, so a job in a place that revolves around sports hardly seems like work to me.

Watching the employees at ESPN inspired me to consider an occupation involving sports.

Everyone there seemed enthusiastic about what they were doing. Everyone I saw was cheerful. It just seemed like such a great place to be.

 People sat at computers watching live sports events, creating highlight reels, sometimes to air on SportsCenter in a few hours.

Others worked backstage producing segments of SportsCenter, or made calls in offices to line up coverage for upcoming events.   Full Article


-- Reporter's notebook --


Mike and Mike, in person


Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA): When we slipped into the studio, quiet reporters on a pre-dawn tour, Mike and Mike in the Morning was already on the air. We recognized the familiar voices we’d heard on the radio so many mornings and peeked around the cameras to catch a glimpse of the men behind the desk.

Mike and Mike’s set is amazing. It is, without a doubt, one of the coolest things we saw at ESPN. In fact, the entire show meets that qualification.

We walked in while they were live on both TV and radio. The big desk was littered with all the famous bobble heads that television viewers know so well.

When we visited, Mike Golic and Erik Kuselias, who was filling in for Mike Greenberg, were in the middle of their St. Louis Rams two-a-day. Greenie had picked the Rams to go 6-10, while Kuselias had them at 4-12 and Golic at a terrible 3-13.

At the break, we got to meet Golic. He graciously gave us autographs, posed for pictures, and invited us to sit at his desk. He talked to us just like a regular guy and very encouraging to us as young journalists.  Full Article

-- News --



ESPN prez: 'We want to serve our fans'

Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA):  

As sports media powerhouse ESPN celebrates its 30th birthday, President George Bodenheimer is pleased with the company’s accomplishments.

Click Here

“I’m very proud,” said Bodenheimer. “It’s an important milestone for us.” ESPN, considered the world leader in sports coverage, has several television networks around the world, as well as multiple websites, radio stations and a magazine.

“We want to serve fans,” said Bodenheimer. “It’s the mission of the company.”    Full Article


ESPN founder lays out the real deal

Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA):

Click Here

You may never have heard of Bill Rasmussen. But chances are you’ve heard of the company he founded, ESPN, or, as it was called in those days E.S.P. Inc.

Rasmussen said there are more stories about why ESPN is located in Bristol, Connecticut, than anyone could imagine.

“None of it’s true – none!” said Rasmussen, clearly amused. Full Article



Berman recalls ESPN's early days

Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA):

Click Here

Famed sportscaster Chris Berman said ESPN has changed a lot since he came to work there in 1979.

“Dishes? We had one that went up, one that went down, and four we ate off,” Berman joked in a speech to local business leaders that honored ESPN’s 30th anniversary.   Full Article


Kicking the competition in England


Clare Hern and Kiernan Majerus-Collins (Connecticut, USA):

ESPN is branching out yet again.

The international sports media giant now has a presence in the U.K.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done,” said Russell Wolff, who runs ESPN International.

ESPN, the leading sports company in the U.S., has added a third television channel in England.

They now carry ESPN Classic, ESPN America, as well as the recent addition of the company’s flagship, ESPN.

“We’re in a major new initiative in the UK,” said ESPN President George Bodenheimer. “We’re off to a great start.”   Full Article

Click Here

ESPN Anchor Hannah Storm

New Youth Journalism International class forming

Young writers, photographers, cartoonists and other journalists are encouraged to join YJI now and become a part in our next class of high-achieving teens across the globe. It is free to participate. Please see for more information.




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