Information Diet: Greg Gumbel

The sportscaster avoids trouble by sitting out of social media

Headshot of Christopher Heine


Age 66

Accomplishments Veteran sports announcer for ESPN, CBS and NBC; will lead CBS Sports Network's nightly coverage the week of Super Bowl XLVII

Base Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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

I turn on SportsCenter to see what happened overnight. I also read newspapers online. During a typical football week where, say, I am doing the Tennessee Titans against the San Francisco 49ers, I will read the Nashville and Bay Area newspapers online to get ready for the game. In addition to that, I regularly read the New York Daily News, The Washington Post and USA Today.

How much time do you spend with media preparing for a game?

My daughter says, “Dad, you are very thorough.” I wish I could say that about myself. But the fact is that I am scared to death of making a fool of myself on national television—which is why I do a lot of homework. But all my colleagues do a ton of homework, too. I probably spend four to five hours per day looking at everything about the teams involved.

Do you read sports blogs?

Not really. To me, blogs are more about opinions, and I tend to just look for facts, especially when it comes to the game I am working that weekend. To be brutally honest, I don’t care what other people think.

Are you a TV junkie?

I suppose I am. There are things I absolutely love to watch. I like to catch movies, especially in the horror genre. I have favorite sitcoms, such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy. I like to laugh. At the same time, I am still a huge, huge fan of Law & Order. It doesn’t matter if I’ve seen the episode before—I enjoy watching it again.

When you are winding down before bedtime, are you more likely to bite into a novel or graze on Twitter?

My crew has an understanding that if they ever see me about to tweet something, they have permission to shove dynamite in my butt and light it. [Laughs.] Obviously, for a lot of people, it’s a good way to get into trouble. I do enjoy fiction. There are some writers like Nelson DeMille, John Sandford and Harlan Coben where I cannot wait for them to put out new work. But if I am truly close to going to bed, my eyes are a little too heavy, so I’d rather watch TV.

What kind of phone do you use? Are you an apps guy?

I am an iPhone user. I like the Google app. But I’d rather do searches on my computer, to be honest. My iPhone usage is pretty basic. For instance, I don’t watch videos on it.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

You cut out part of the fat by not being part of it. I don’t have a Facebook account. I don’t have a Twitter account. Never going to do either of those things. I’m a minimalist when it comes to that stuff. I’m perfectly happy with one email address. I know people with six email addresses. I’m like, ‘What are you, nuts?’ 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.