How CBS Sports’ Tracy Wolfson Uses Social Media to Prepare for the Big Game

And the NFL player she says is killing it on Twitter

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Age 40

Claim to fame Lead reporter for the NFL on CBS and NCAA basketball, as well as Super Bowl 50 sideline reporter

Base New York

Twitter @tracywolfson

Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning?

Tracy Wolfson: I wait until I get my three boys off to school before I consume any information. But the first thing I consume is definitely the sports pages. Then I look on Twitter, see what's trending, and depending on the game I'm focusing on that week, I start searching for those teams and save those articles for further reading.

How does social media play into your sideline reporting?

It's extremely, extremely useful in what I do. I follow all the beat reporters from every team that I cover, whether they're in the NFL or college basketball or the NBA, and it helps me prepare for the games because these beat reporters are on site 24 hours a day covering that team while I'm going to different teams every week. I tweet as well, but that's more about putting the spotlight on whatever game we're doing and getting people to watch.

Which NFL players do the best job on social media?

I think Tom Brady does a great, great job with his social media. He makes it really fun, and I think he uses it the right way. It's not overload; he picks exactly the right things to share. I also covered college football, and Jim Harbaugh is my No. 1 favorite coach to follow on Twitter. The things that he puts out there, the quotes that he uses—I think he does a great job. [Social media] really helps with the recruiting for these college coaches.

What's your favorite app?

My favorite app is Pocket. If you're reading an article on social media, you save it to the Pocket app, and you can read it anywhere without Wi-Fi. When I get onto an airplane, I just open Pocket, and I have all the articles I want to read for my flight.

What TV shows do you watch?

I'm pretty lame. I don't have much time to watch TV. By the time I get settled down, it's usually 9:30 at night, and I turn on sports. But when I have a chance during the offseason, I'll watch Modern Family.

You're a regular host on CBS Sports' We Need to Talk, which is the first national-broadcast, all-female sports talk show. What has that been like?

It was a very big step for CBS to take, and they've done a really good job of providing the right resources and talent. There's a rotating group of hosts from all different areas of sports, so I can bring the sideline experience, then someone like Amy Trask, the former CEO of the Raiders, brings the business side, then you have Laila Ali, a former boxer, who can speak to her life as an athlete. And we don't talk just about women's sports—we cover the hard-hitting topics of the day, and if it happens to be a female sports story, then of course we embrace it. But we want to be your typical sports show that is atypical because it's run by women.

Since you've been covering sports, have you seen much of an increase in sports content that speaks to women viewers?

I think it's getting there. We have a bunch of radio shows out there with female hosts, and, of course, there are some shows on ESPN with female hosts. I think it does bring that unique perspective. Once we launched our show, it opened the eyes of others to say, "This is a unique idea and one that can definitely work, and let's see if we can try it."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 1 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.