The Next Chapter
As an author it’s pretty easy to see your life as chapters in a book. For me the titles of those chapters come rather quickly to mind: Growing Up, High School, Baseball, San Diego State, The Real World, Married with Children, Sports Illustrated, ABC News, CBS Sports, Real Sports, CBS News, 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes Sports. And now…
…As one page turns to another I’m starting the next chapter of my professional life. I’ll still be telling stories – that’s never really changed - just not on network television as often as I have in the past. Instead, having recently celebrated my 65th birthday, I’ve decided to dial back on the daily grind and spend more time doing something that’s long been a passion of mine: producing and writing documentary films.
In the past I’ve been involved in co-writing and co-producing a couple of critically-acclaimed docs – “A City on Fire - The Story of the 1968 Detroit Tigers,” in conjunction with HBO’s “Sports of the 20th Century” series and “Lawrence Phillips – Running For His Life” for Showtime. I’ve loved the entire process of assembling long form pieces. Now I’m jumping into that pool with both feet.
In the future I’ll be working with the likes of Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney. Alex and his Jigsaw Productions recently acquired the rights to “Tiger Woods,” the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book I co-authored with Jeff Benedict, my dear friend and longtime writing partner. I’m thrilled to report our book will form the basis of a four-hour documentary mini-series to air on HBO in late 2019 or early 2020. I’ll also be working with the incredibly talented Nanette Burstein on a “30 for 30” film for ESPN based on the life of former NFL quarterback Steve McNair. There’s also an upcoming dramatic series in the works at Starz based on “The System,” another NYT bestseller Jeff and I wrote, along with several other inspiring projects.
It’s funny, but when I started doing the math I discovered much of my professional life could be broken down into blocks of seven to 10 years. Seven years at Sports Illustrated; eight at ABC News; 10 more at CBS Sports and HBO Sports; another seven as the Chief Investigative Correspondent for CBS News; five more at “60 Minutes” and “60 Minutes Sports” until Showtime cancelled the sports show out of nowhere 18 months into a three-year renewal. That makes more than 35 years of what I like to call tightrope journalism - five decades of walking on a very high wire. Now I’m ready to off that wire – at least on a daily basis - and put my storytelling talents to use in other ways.
I also plan to give back to the only job I’ve ever wanted: telling stories. One way will be in journalism seminars centered around the art of reporting, writing and interviewing no matter the form or format. If you happen to be interested you can contact me through this site. My personal assistant Allie Nick will be happy to help.
So on to the next chapter. Let’s call it…A Passion Play.