A Day In The Life With WME Head Of Sports Broadcasting Jim Ornstein
WME's JIM ORNSTEIN has had a number of clients take big career leaps recently -- ESPN's TREY WINGO and NFL Net's KURT WARNER to name a couple -- and will be on hand to celebrate upcoming HOF enshrinements for two fellow clients, including one later this month. Ornstein spoke with THE DAILY about his day-to-day routine, including early morning runs in Central Park and the health benefits of acupuncture.
6:00am: My kids ELLE and SHANE usually wake up my wife JILL and I by running into our bedroom. Jill usually handles their morning routine while I go work out. I live right near Central Park and love going for a long run there because it’s a great way to clear my head. I’ll usually listen to a podcast on my run -- some of my favorites are “MATTY & THE CADDIE,” “BASEBALL AND CHILL,” “GAME THEORY & MONEY” and “THE RFK TAPES.” Sometimes I’ll also go to a Flywheel spin class. I’ll eat breakfast at home during the summer when the kids are out of school, which is something simple like yogurt, toast with peanut butter and a banana.
7:30am: I get ready for work while listening to “GOLIC & WINGO.” I head to the office by subway. I love taking it to work because it is by far the fastest way from where I live, and I can catch up on emails and texts during the ride. It usually takes me about 20-25 minutes to go door-to-door.
8:30am: I like to get the day started in a strategic manner, so my assistant will come in and go over my schedule and the client roster I’m responsible for. It’s a good way to focus and see what we need to get accomplished for each of those clients for that particular day. We’ll also line up any upcoming travel -- one such trip is this month to Cooperstown to see JIM THOME’s enshrinement.
10:00am: If it’s early in the week, we’ll do something we call “Broadcast Brainstorm.” The Sports Broadcast group will come into our office and we’ll go over anything anybody wants to share, what they might need some guidance on or want to update the group on in terms of clients, deals or events.
11:00am-4:00pm: Within that five-hour window, it really depends on what I’ve gone over regarding my schedule earlier that morning or if there are certain things that are pressing like contracts or a strategy conversation with network executives. I find it effective to each lunch at my desk while working, so usually around 1:00 I’ll run out and grab something to bring back from Sweetgreen’s or a local deli. We record virtually everything when a client is on air, and I’ll use that time while I’m eating to watch a particular client’s appearance from the night before. I’ll then send along some honest critique.
5:00pm: I do acupuncture once a week. It helps with shoulder repair from years of working out and lets me get in a good nap with a few needles in me. Afterwards I often meet up with a client who’s in town. I recently had dinner with STEVE NASH at Trattoria del Arte in Midtown, one of my favorite spots.
7:00pm: I commute home by Uber rather than the subway so I can wrap up west coast calls during the ride. I aim to be completely present when I arrive home because being involved with my kids in the morning and at night before they go to bed is incredibly important. I’ll usually have dinner out once or twice a week and then other nights if my wife isn’t working, she’ll cook dinner for the kids and I’ll eat later once I get home. My wife and I also try to do a date night as often as we can, maybe once a week.
8:00pm: Once every couple months I love having clients and colleagues over to our home to entertain and watch big sports events. I find myself watching a lot of baseball games now as a big Yankees fan. I also like to watch when certain clients are broadcasting games, like when MARK TEIXEIRA recently broadcast his first game for ESPN.
10:00pm: My wife is an Entertainment Correspondent and often has early screeners of films -- so both of us usually claim we "need" dibs on the remote control for work. But most nights we watch movies or binge TV. Some of our favorites are Netflix’ “OZARK,” HBO’s “BARRY,” or Hulu’s “THE LOOMING TOWER.” I’ll also check Twitter one final time and then pick up a book to read or watch a documentary. I’m currently reading “13 DAYS” that ROBERT F. KENNEDY wrote on his perspective of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I’m a big RFK fan because my father loved him and he helped him campaign when he was running for President.
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