feb 26

ESPN Book Project

Quick announcement: I've been working with Jim Miller and Tom Shales, the authors of the legendary oral history of Saturday Night Live, Live From New York, on a new project: the website for The Untitled ESPN Book. Similar to the SNL book, this will tell the inside story of ESPN, from launch to present. They've got a Tumblr, which will feature regular updates on the book's progress. (Press release with more info inside.)


New York, February 25, 2009 -- Bestselling authors Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller (Live from New York: An Uncensored History of "Saturday Night Live") have signed to write a wide-ranging exploration of ESPN, the hugely successful global sports network, Little, Brown and Company announced today. Currently untitled, the book will chronicle ESPN's rise from industry oddity to thriving empire, examining its tremendous, revolutionary impact on sports, television, and American life. As with Live from New York, the story will include the words of those who made it happen, speaking with authority and candor.

In addition to its many other venues, ESPN is now a major presence on the Internet; appropriately, the publisher and authors have launched their own Web site (www.millershalesespnbook.com) to feature regular blogging and updates on the book's progress. The authors have already interviewed many individuals present at the creation and growth of ESPN, as well as those who are involved with the company now. Many are speaking on the record for the first time, and there will be hundreds more interviews conducted.

Shales, the Pulitzer Prize.winning TV critic of the Washington Post, says, "ESPN has greatly expanded the appeal of sports with its personalized approach and seen its influence extend into all areas of television and communication." Miller, who has been both an executive and a producer in the television industry, became a faithful, fascinated fan of ESPN in the early '80s. "While working in Washington," Miller notes, "I moved to Northern Virginia specifically for its advanced cable system and the chance to watch ESPN. From its infancy, it's been on the air 24/7, and friends told me it sometimes seemed like I watched it that much."

Little, Brown acquired world rights to this project. Editor in Chief Geoff Shandler, who worked with both authors on their previous book, will edit the new one. Shales and Miller were represented in the negotiations by Sloan Harris of ICM.

Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group. Founded in 1837, Little, Brown has long been recognized as a publisher committed to publishing fiction of the highest quality and nonfiction of lasting significance. Hachette Book Group is a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the second-largest publisher in the world.

posted by Rex at 1:20 PM on February 26, 2009

Sounds awesome. Wasn't there something similar 5 or 10 years ago though? I remember something about Mike Tirico and his sexual escapades.

posted by William Kelly at 4:41 PM on February 26, 2009

The SNL book is legendary, and I'm excited that you're going to be involved in the ESPN book. Good luck!

posted by AC at 9:40 PM on February 26, 2009

Hope they come out with an updated SNL book that covers the Lazy Sunday phenomenon, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, etc.

posted by Mark at 11:46 AM on March 11, 2009

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