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SBJ/April 16-22, 2012/People and Pop Culture
My first job in sports: Burke Magnus
Executives recall their first job in the industry
Published April 16, 2012, Page 38
|Among the accomplishments for Magnus (center) at ESPN is the launch of Longhorn Network.
CATCHING A CURVEBALL: While I was at
|Magnus specializes in college sports, but NASCAR and the NFL have touched his career.|
WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR: The interesting part of the internship is that I interned for a guy who I then went on to work with at ESPN for many years, a guy named Len DeLuca. … He had me involved in all kinds of stuff. He’d bring me along to really high-level meetings, for me at the time, [given] the people I was sitting with at the network and in the leagues. It always just kind of blew my mind that he would think enough to bring along an intern and at least just let me be a fly on the wall.
PERSONAL SPACE: I shared a cubicle, which is not easy to do, with [DeLuca’s] administrative assistant. I don’t know it to be a fact, but I’m sure she was none too pleased to have me there. One thing that was sort of an eye-opener was how small of an operation it was. It was so high profile when you watched sports on television, but when you got there, it was basically half a floor. So anyway, that was my assignment: They said, “Well, you can sit over here,” and they literally had to brush papers out of the way to create an open space for me and then wedged a chair in there.
TIMES HAVE CHANGED: Every Thursday, I had to physically walk from CBS to the NFL to hand-deliver the maps for the regionalized NFL games that weekend, which we did all by hand, not by a computer program. It was a blank map, and we drew by hand the regions for the NFL games. All of the execs were around the table, and I was the intern drawing colors all over the map. When it was finished, everyone would literally sign off on it, I rolled it up and walked it over to the NFL. I remember thinking it was funny, walking the streets of Manhattan carrying in my hand what people passing by me would watch on Sunday.