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Archive for October, 2011

 

Oct 24 2011

Tony Reali speaks to GU SIM Students

by at 1:10 pm


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By Megan Eichenberg

Since 2002, ESPN’s “Around the Horn” has offered viewers a half hour of banter from industry sports writers. As host of the show since 2004, Tony Reali has moderated the daily discussion, allocating points for superior arguments and exercising the mute button for the more questionable dialogue.

 

Reali, also a personality on the network’s “Pardon the Interruption,” recently spoke to students enrolled in the Sports Industry Management graduate program at Georgetown University.

For more than an hour, Reali outlined his professional experience and offered his thoughts on current sports topics for students in the Sports Communications and Public Relations class.  He offered an overview of his start in the sports industry and reflected on how his early experiences equipped him for his present position.

As an undergraduate at Fordham University, Reali served as a sportscaster for the campus radio station. In this role, he was able to hone his skills in announcing and producing, which ultimately prepared him for his career as a television host.

Currently, ESPN’s “Around the Horn” airs in more than 50 different countries within four time zones.  Reali attributes the success of the shows to the chemistry of their participants. “I love being able to talk to some of the best sports minds out there,” he said, adding that the shows don’t include just opinions, but well devised thoughts.

The host also offered a glimpse into what news is addressed on the show. “Being able to recognize stories that are on the minds and lips of the viewers,” said Reali, “is how the crew determines what stories to cover on the programs. It’s also what stories get the guys going.”

In selecting discussion topics, Twitter is a staple of Reali’s day. The social networking site is the first source he checks each morning, and he frequently monitors the website throughout the day. “I can’t do my day to day job without Twitter,” said Reali. “That’s where I’m getting my news.” You can follow Tony Reali @AroundTheHorn.

Another way Reali’s occupation has evolved is through citizen journalism. Anyone with a cell phone can be a reporter causing the industry to change the way it thinks about sports reporting. “It’s been very interesting, the new media, and how reporters report,” Reali stated. “Information is coming out at all times.”

The speed at which new information is released is another trend that has impacted how Reali performs his job. ESPN often triple sources stories, and is careful in how they convey reports they haven’t independently confirmed.

When crisis situations or mistakes do occur, Reali encouraged students to address the situation immediately and suggested seeking the expertise of colleagues.  “When things are going wrong with stories, there are times I can lean on the guys with 30, 40 years of journalism expertise,” said Reali. “Someone has done it before you and you’d be foolish not to take their advice.”

Reali’s other tips for students pursuing a career in the sports industry emphasized writing ability. “Once you know how to write, it shows you can do anything else. Writing means you can think.”

The “Around the Horn” host closed the session with three final points of advice for aspiring sports professionals. “For me the best advice is to have a voice. Ask questions.” Reali also reiterated the importance of writing. “Writing is the most important thing you’ll ever do,” he said. “You have to get your thoughts on the page.”

When an opportunity arises, whether it is expected or unexpected, Reali offered a recommendation reflective of his own journey to success within the sports industry, advising students to “say yes” to every opportunity that comes along.

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