Passion. Its what makes a sports journalist successful. The excitement for the game, the personalities, the surroundings, the stories. Being a journalist is more than just reciting a box score or reading a teleprompter. The events need to impact you, the stories need to affect you.
For YES Network Sportscaster Nancy Newman, that passion has never waned, the simple things still make an impact, "The sensation of standing around the infield when Yankee Stadium is empty, and it's just you and the crew on the green grass, under the big blue sky...no matter how corny it sounds, it still takes my breath away. Pure joy."
Here's more from Nancy Newman:
Nancy Newman, YES Network Sportscaster: Upon graduation from the University of Toronto, I began interning at a local news station where my duties included writing copy for the sports anchors on staff. From there, writing copy turned into sports reporting, which turned into sports anchoring and eventually a full-time job within about a year-and-a-half. It came together so clearly for me that I knew this was my path.
Education: University of Toronto
Stations worked at: Channel 10 (Toronto), TSN (Toronto) , CNN Sports (Atlanta), YES Network (New York)
Favorite Interview: Hands down, Wayne Gretzky, for all the obvious reasons! He is the greatest after-all, and when your idol matches up and exceeds your expectations of him as a human being, well, not too much can be better than that.
Best Piece of Advice: Maintain balance in your life. Too much attention on "getting ahead" puts you out of balance and only hurts you in the long run. Enjoy every minute of the ride!
Newman: I actually did not know I would end up on camera. I wanted to pursue a career in sports and tv, therefore sports tv made sense! I loved writing for the guys on staff at Channel 10 in Toronto, and loved watching them "make television". When the opportunity to report on-camera came up, I absolutely wanted to give it a go. I had always loved sports, and had grown up with it. My father would take me to hockey, baseball and football games from the time I was a young child and we had great fun enjoying our teams and everything about them. It was my passion! I would recite stats, discuss in-game strategy with him...I was just plain hooked! I was not a tomboy though! I was a girl who loved her figure skating, but was hugely into professional sports as a little fan, which still holds true through to adult-hood!
Newman: I have an Arts Degree from the University of Toronto...my curriculum was made up of mostly English classes not Journalism, but I do feel that very much helped my craft in the long run.
Newman: As I mentioned earlier, my first job happened at the local station in Toronto where I began as an intern and within 2 years became Sports Director! It was a wonderful place to begin. I left there to report nationally on TSN, which is partially owned by ESPN and is Canada's national sports network with its own "SportsCenter". That was wonderful!! I loved every day there. Soon after that, I got the thrill of a lifetime, my job at CNN! After CNN shut down its sports department, my good fortune brought me to YES, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network in New York. I anchor Yankees games here, and New Jersey Nets basketball too! This is a special place to be...I feel so fortunate to work with another great group of talented professionals once again. This is the most amazing organization. I'm proud to work for the Yankees.
Newman: I'm proud of the early stages of my career, too. I had a plan once I got going, stuck with it, and it worked out wonderfully for me. That's not to say I did not have rejections along the way, I of course did, but they did not stop me from pursuing my dreams. Having a plan was key.
Newman: My "big break" would have to be my move from TSN to CNN in 1992. I interviewed with the late Mr. Bill MacPhail, a pioneer in sports television, a man I will love for the rest of my life, and his eventual successor Jim Walton who to this day runs all of CNN! Those years were beyond special for me. Our entire Sports Dept. within the walls of CNN was a gifted bunch who churned out television I will forever be proud of. I was inspired by so many of the guys and gals around me. CNN Sports turned into CNNSI in early 1997...and although it lasted just 5 years, it too was a most amazing time and experience. All that growth helped groom me for my present position at YES. But looking back, the early years at TSN were so impactful and vital. Each day was jam-packed with experiences and lessons. Truly great! Without TSN, the rest would not have been possible.
Newman: My advice to someone getting started would be this...to firstly, know your subject. Good performance comes from confidence and confidence comes from the love of your subject matter. Secondly, don't be too tough of yourself...things unfold in their proper timing, just stay true to your goals and dreams and don't focus too much on making things happen quickly. Polish your skills.
And, don't forget to maintain balance in your life. Too much attention on "getting ahead" puts you out of balance and only hurts you in the long run. Don't forget to enjoy every minute of it!!! You'll want to remember the moments along the way for a long, long time, so take them in!
Newman: Three of my most memorable moments were covering the 1991 Canada Cup while with TSN and watching International Hockey at its competitive best for the first time in my life in person and as a professional...a "wow" moment for me. Also, the 1996 Stanley Cup Final for CNN...the Avalanche vs. the Panthers. It was fantastic watching the Cup being won and taken for laps around the ice...phenomenal. And, the 2009 World Series. The Yankees beating the Phillies in the first year of existence for the brand new Stadium, well, no wonder a movie is being made about this story! Amazing. The best times are mostly those when you think about being at your desk at work, particularly on those late nights at CNN, readying for CNN Sports Latenight and the camaraderie and banter we enjoyed amongst ourselves, the crew. Unbeatable. And of course, the joy I feel each week when I record "Yankees Magazine" at Yankee Stadium. The sensation of standing around the infield when the Stadium is empty, and it's just you and the crew on the green grass, under the big blue sky...no matter how corny it sounds, it still takes my breath away. Pure joy.
Newman: My favorite person interviewed so far, is hands down, Wayne Gretzky, for all the obvious reasons! He is the greatest after-all, and when your idol matches up and exceeds your expectations of him as a human being, well, not too much can be better than that. He is in a class all by himself for me. I also appreciate Alex Rodriguez. He has come through adversity with being the best remaining his goal, however not just for himself, but truly for the team. His journey personally and professionally has been one to watch. The individual I'm still hoping very much to meet someday, is Dorothy Hamill. She was the most amazing lady I had ever watched skate, and I looked up to her when I was a youngster, and still have hopes that my path will cross hers. Maybe someday!!