Tag Archives: Los Angeles Times

How’d You Write That? ESPN The Magazine’s Kevin Van Valkenburg


On the MTTS podcast, we’re debuting a brand-new segment, called “How’d You Write That?” and it should be fairly obvious what it’s all about. Our first guest happens to be an excellent one, ESPN the Magazine’s Kevin Van Valkenburg. Before you listen, make sure to read last month’s feature on Adam Muema, “Hiding in Plain Sight.” In our chat, we discuss how Van Valkenburg got in touch with the elusive Muema in the first place, why he structured the story the way he did, whether he ever felt Muema was manipulating him, and how he handled a competing outlet trying to write the same story.

Interviewed on 6-6-14

Here’s something newsworthy:

Before we get to Van Valkenburg’s interview, we remember the career of longtime LA Times columnist T.J. Simers, who announced his retirement from the Orange County Register (and from sports writing as a whole) this past week. One of my favorite portions of Episode 15 is Simers talking about how he created his own little world in the columns he wrote, and I’ve included a snippet of it in this week’s episode.

Linda McCoy-Murray, former wife of Jim Murray/founder of Jim Murray Memorial Foundation


Linda McCoy-Murray has been described in past feature articles as a “pint-sized dynamo,” and she certainly displays that energy on this week’s episode. McCoy-Murray, who was married to one of the best sports writers of all time, is the founder and CEO of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation — which does so much to support current-day sports writing and to preserve Murray’s legacy. In our chat, we discuss Jim Murray and why so many of us are still so fascinated by his career, if Murray (who died in 1998) could have predicted the demise of newspapers, and why Murray really thought he wouldn’t be remembered after he died.

We also talk about the JMMF and how McCoy-Murray got it started following Murray’s death, and she details their decades-long courtship.

Interviewed on 4-9-14

In case you don’t know Jim Murray — and if that’s the case, FOR SHAME — here’s a recent story put out by the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, and the Washington Post’s Mike Wise wrote earlier this month about the inspiration that was Murray.

And if you want to receive the Monday With Murray e-mails — which I highly recommend — email murrayscholars@aol.com

Here’s something similar:

T.J. Simers was a big fan of Murray when they worked together in L.A. In Episode 15, Simers and I talk about Murray and the impact he made on Simers. Which you can listen to right here.