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Media Monster

Miller/Shales ESPN Book Will Tell The Most Important Media Story Of The Last 20 Years


Jim Miller’s upcoming ESPN book, “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the Word of ESPN,” has some people at the network nervous. Never before has an outsider been granted such access to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and the potential for what could turn up has some ESPNers antsy.

Despite this, and the fact that there will almost certainly be a few stunning revelations in the book, co-written by Tom Shales and scheduled for a 2011 release, Miller’s not focused on the salacious. He says his main motivation for the book is telling the story of ESPN, which, according to him, it’s the most important media success story of the last 20 years.

I, of course, care only about the rumored sexy times that occurred when the cameras were off. Unfortunately, he isn’t able to reveal anything from within the pages of the book – it’s been embargoed until its release by Miller and his publisher, Little Brown & Company.

Still, there was plenty of boinking, right?

Miller won’t comment.  I say that, given the fact that ESPN is out in the middle of Bristol, Connecticut, and there isn’t much to do out there besides boink, one would think that boinking plays a prominent role in ESPN’s history (as it did when the Steve Phillips – Brooke Hundley affair came to light). Nope. That topic will not be discussed.

In regards to how Miller gained access to ESPN, his unprecedented look inside the much-admired, much-gossiped about Goliath of the sports media world came as a result of interviewing over 500 current and former on-air personalities and executives.

He took an “outside in” strategy, starting with high-profile former employees, and once he had laid the groundwork and gained some cred within those circles, he began to interview current staffers. What results is an inside look at ESPN, one of the greatest media success stories of the past 25 years.

That success story, up until now, has been largely hidden from the public. Miller says that, in much the same way political writers view the White House as a key place to understand, the same is true for sports writers and Bristol.

Beyond ESPN’s importance in media, and his main strategy for getting a look inside of it, Miller won’t say a thing (especially not about the boinking). To find out just how much fun those guys have, it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer.



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