Information Diet: Kenny Mayne

ESPN host tries to navigate Twitter, endure his kids' morning music selections

Age 53

Accomplishments Host of Kenny Mayne's Wider World of Sports on; weekly contributor to Sunday NFL Countdown

Base Seattle

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

First thing I do is look at email—company email—and figure out what problems I’m beset with. By the time it’s 9 a.m. in Seattle it’s noon out East, and I’m already behind it. So I work on trying to eliminate the 10,000 ESPN emails. It’s about a 40-minute job every day. God love ‘em, but they overwhelm me with physical information.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

If I’m by myself, I might catch up on some sports talk. But I’ll bore my kids more with NPR, or I’ll make my daughters listen to my iPhone and my kind of music. There’s usually a little fight, and we’ll have to listen to One Direction or maybe Justin Bieber, although I’m a fan of his. I think he’s pretty talented, and I respect what he’s doing.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet?

I’ve not thought, “I’m going to do less or more TV watching because I’m on TV.” It’s just whatever happens that day. I’m like anyone else—I probably watch less sports than people would think. But I like politics and international news. I love the NFL and horse racing, though, so I watch a lot of that.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

More often I’m reading a physical book or even a newspaper, as unwieldy as they are. Doing that in bed is really a picnic. And with a flashlight of course. I don’t even bother with a light. I’m just catching on to all this modern stuff.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

I’m a dabbler in digital more than a guy who’s highly proficient. I’ll be the one who uploads the wrong thing on Twitter and copies and pastes my daughter’s kindergarten picture instead of a photo from a trip to Italy.

Is there an app you can’t live without?

Right now I’m living without many because I have a new phone. The old one was dropped on some stairs in a horrific accident. My favorite is the obscure MobileIron—it’s the one ESPN people have to install to receive company emails. You have to go way deep into settings and put some words and phrases that I’ve never heard of. I really like it, though, when there is a computer mistake and everything ends up as a huge mix of zeroes and ones.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

I’m not like [ESPN’s Chris] Berman—they probably have to log on for him—but I’m not very adept. My new iPhone is telling me I’m over capacity on photos already and I have only 11 saved, so clearly something is wrong on the insides of this thing. Twitter’s a funny animal. I like it a lot, but I haven’t figured out its benefits as a promotional tool. I’m kind of behind the times, but this talk is going to inspire me to embrace technology more.