Monday, November 2, 2009

Columnist Profile: Jon Weisman

Every true Los Angeles Dodger fan's dream is to some how, some way meet or have a chance to meet a living legend -- Vincent Edward Scully. Lord knows it's my dream.

Not only did Jon Weisman meet the man affectionately known as "Vin," he had the privilege of writing a column about Scully on Sports Illustrated's Web site just over two years ago.

Weisman, 41, was kind enough to reply to some e-mail questions.

When asked about his favorite piece, he recalls the afore mentioned Scully column.

"I do enjoy thinking about a column I wrote about Vin Scully for, when I compared his call of a game in the late 1960s to his call of a game 40 years later," Weisman said.

Weisman (left) writes a blog, Dodger Thoughts, for the Los Angeles Times. However, it did not start as a Times' blog.

"I was just doing my own thing," Weisman said. "After a few years, when the site showed some real growth, it didn't seem quite so unlikely. But it wasn't my be-all, end-all ambition."

Dodger Thoughts, started by Weisman in June 2002, was picked up by the Times in February.

Weisman is no rookie when it comes to journalism, though.

"I sold my first story to the Los Angeles Times in 1986, while in college," Weisman said. "I did a detour into screenwriting for much of the 1990s, but I've done a lot of journalism work this decade."

Weisman, who attended Stanford University and Georgetown University, earned his bachelor's degree in American Studies in 1986 and master's degree in 1993, respectively.

Despite his passion for Dodger baseball, Weisman has been an associate features editor with Variety since September 2006 after doing freelance work for the publication for the previous three years.

However, he said he plans to stay in journalism for awhile, especially a paying job.

"My day job is as a features editor with Variety. I figure to remain in the business for some time; I haven't planned any major career shifts of anything."

Like many journalists, Weisman got started early.

"The very, very first thing, I believe, was I was asked to write an article for my high school newspaper on a production of a live Doonesbury show I was attending," he said. "I enjoyed doing that and looked for more assignments, and was committed to the newspaper for the rest of my high school and college life. I decided fairly early on in college that I wanted to be a sportswriter after graduation."

Weisman is the father of three children -- a daughter and two sons -- and is married.

As a life-long Dodger fan, like Jon, I am jealous and envious of his accomplishments. I hope to be able to lay claim to some similar accomplishments in my journalism career.

His most memorable moment, meeting Vin, was "unforgettable."

"It wasn't my best interview, but it was the one that had the most meaning for me."

I'm sure Weisman isn't the first, nor will he be the last journalist to utter a such a phrase.

If I may editorialize for a moment: Weisman is my favorite person to read when it comes to anything Dodgers. His insight, analysis and open-mindedness are a welcome change from his doppelganger L.A. Times' brethren.

Just look at this piece and you'll get my point.

1 comment:

  1. Fan profiles are always interesting to read...

    This one is well-done, even with quite a bit of fan-a-tic feeling to it.

    Two things to make it better: Make it clear which foto is which.

    Second, put some stats about the audience of the columnist, if at all possible.

    His quote:

    '"After a few years, when the site showed some real growth, it didn't seem quite so unlikely. But it wasn't my be-all, end-all ambition."'

    leads you to ask the question about 'real growth.'

    How did he measure it?