SBD/Issue 245/Sports Industrialists
What I Like... With ESPN Publishing GM & Editorial Dir Gary Hoenig
Published September 11, 2008
|ESPN Publishing GM &
Editorial Dir Gary Hoenig
A business deal: [RUPERT] MURDOCH buying The [Wall Street] Journal and chasing The [N.Y.] Times. In times like this, believing in print takes real nerve.
A story that bears watching: The inevitable flattening of the Internet growth curve.
An insight: We’ve conditioned the public to believe that media is free. If we don’t change that perception, our ad revenues won’t save us.
An influential person in my career: I’ve had many, but the first was my brother-in-law ROBERT HERB, who died young but still had plenty of time to make me want to be like him: a journalist with principles.
A marketing idea: I love it when a marketing idea truly captures the essence of what you’re selling. The whole way that “Gossip Girl” is marketed is pure genius.
A TV ad campaign: Not to be a homer, but the “SportsCenter” ads are near perfect. They capture who we are here and make you want to be part of the team.
A print ad campaign: Grab me visually, but never let me forget what the point is. Nike does a good job.
A brand: Quality of the product is paramount. Never lose sight of that. No one does it better than Apple.
A trend: Staying power. One more word about community, and I’m going back inside my hut and never coming out.
An innovation: Something that actually makes my life better. DVRs, for one.
A business decision: Not shutting down the [Wall Street] Journal’s paid site. Originally, Murdoch was set on doing just that. He’s smart to have changed his mind.
A pro league business initiative: The NHL’s recent moves to make the game better. It is.
A college sports business initiative: Leaving the NCAA tourney alone.
|Hoenig Feels Hamilton's 28 HR Performance
At Home Run Derby Was Quite Impressive
About my job: Making decisions so quickly, it feels like stopping pucks in a goal mouth.
Sports: Seeing something that you’ve never seen before. Twenty-eight homers in 38 swings [in Home Run Derby]? JOSH HAMILTON qualifies.
Sports journalism: You can cover the whole spectrum of human experience through the metaphor of sports. And people will read it.
Competing in this business: You have to be good to be heard. There are so many competitors. And there is no more knowledgeable audience.
The direction of sports business: The beauty of sports is its spontaneity and unpredictability. The danger is that those who run it want too much control -- and that drains those very qualities.
About myself: I keep trying, no matter how many times I stumble.
Players: Athletes who don’t take themselves too seriously.
Teams: New York Jets, San Francisco Giants (my dad’s team), Knicks (Ouch!
Did I say that out loud?).
City: New Yorker through and through.
Possession: An old Martin D-18 guitar.
Memento: A ball signed by my original Magazine teammates.
Books: Reading “War and Peace,” God save me.
Magazines: New York, New Yorker, Economist, BusinessWeek.
Newspapers: Still read the Times and the Journal on paper. Do wonder why sometimes.
Web sites: ESPN.com, ESPNtheMag.com, NYTimes.com, Weather Channel, eBay, Yahoo Finance, CNN.
Blogs: JON FINE, BusinessWeek; RON ROSENBAUM, Slate; BUSTER OLNEY, ESPN.com.
Authors: TOLKIEN, KIPLING, PETE DEXTER, CHUCK KLOSTERMAN, MALCOLM GLADWELLL.
Ideas: This is gonna sound pretentious, but I was a philosophy major for a while, and dialectics is what stayed with me. In brief: Everything is connected.
Hobbies: I collect model trains. You got a problem with that?
Movies: I’ll stick with “The Godfather,” the one that combines I and II.
TV: “Friday Night Lights.” DirecTV, thank you for saving it.
|Hoenig Fondly Remembers
Original Cream Concerts Of '60s
Dessert: When I can? Anything dark chocolate.
Vacation spot: Hawaii.
Cars: Audi A6.
Quote: Great ideas don’t happen from the top down.
Miscellaneous: Now you’re going too far.
What I don’t like in general: Overbearing people.
Pet peeve: Herd mentality.
In sports: People who take the games too seriously.
In business: Short-term thinking.
In journalism: Self-righteousness. Uninformed opinion.
In sports business: Contempt for the fan.
In sports marketing: Thoughtless repetition.
In sports facilities: Too many distractions from the game.
About my job: Not being a part of the storytelling process anymore.