SBD/July 2, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Minding My Business With Time Inc. Sports Group's Paul Fichtenbaum

Name: Paul Fichtenbaum

Position: Time Inc. Sports Group Editor 

Age: 53

Where I’m from: Brooklyn

Where I call home: Westchester, N.Y.

Focusing on right now: Several digital initiatives, including our partnership with 120 Sports.

Fichtenbaum said Twitter oftentimes is his go-to
platform for breaking sports news

Best advice: Never get too comfortable. Especially never get too comfortable when you’re launching a digital product that you think is cutting edge, because there’s always something else out there on the horizon. I think you always have to iterate. I’ve heard it from a couple of people I worked with through the years. It kind of always stuck with me and I try to push that forward.

A must for a new hire: Passion and creativity. If you don’t have either one, especially in the news journalism field, you’re in trouble because most of the people work long and odd hours. I always ask a candidate what drives them. I want to know what their motivation is.

Exec I admire the most: Uber Founder & CEO TRAVIS KALANICK. He was at the Time 100, and I was lucky enough to sit next to him and pick his brain for the better part of an evening. He’s just an amazing entrepreneur. He’s done a bunch of different things. Uber obviously is the biggest thing yet. Just the way he pursues opportunities -- his hard-driving nature to me was really impressive.

Best book I’ve read this year: This may seem like a weird answer, but recently I’ve been lucky enough to welcome a new niece. I’m looking forward to doing some babysitting and so I’ve broken out what I consider one of the great books of all time, "Goodnight Moon" by MARGARET WISE BROWN. It’s a classic.

First thing in the morning: I usually grab my iPad, which I keep next to my bed, and I’ll check for e-mails to see if there were any big developments overnight. Then I prepare mentally for how I’m going to respond to all of those things and I have a pretty long train ride, so I just get myself mentally prepared for the day, clear the decks and answer any questions that might be lingering from our overnight news staff.

Talking tech: Twitter is my go-to news source. It doesn’t take long before news hits Twitter in some way. I do a lot of listening on there. I tweet a little bit, but mostly I use it as a dashboard for news. I think that has been the most significant technological development for the news business. Quite frankly, I don’t know how we lived without it.

Must have music: If I’m in my car alone or if I have my phone and I’m working out, I’m on Sirius XM and I either listen to the classic rock or Lithium station. When I’m with my kids, it’s either 20 on 20 or Hits 1. They like rap and I know I’m supposed to be outraged by it, but I like it, too.

Food for thought: Everyone in my family pretty much likes something different, so it’s hard to satisfy everybody. When we cook, it’s usually healthy and organic. We're pretty eclectic.

How I unwind: Working out is really key. It allows me to get frustration and pent up stuff out. It’s a good outlet for me. But unwinding, no matter what I do, is a challenge, even on vacation. In this business I’m so connected, both literally and figuratively, carving out time for leisure sometimes is a difficult thing.

Day in the life: I think the sports industry could use a better kind of in-game experience. Teams and leagues should try to better understand how they can be more accommodating to the people who pay money to come in and watch the games. If you go to a game, you really have to be committed. It’s a long day. To me, watching the NFL on Sunday or college football at home on the big screen is a pretty compelling way to spend some time.
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