Interview: ESPN’s Dream Job and CBS Sportsline’s Jason Horowitz

You may remember an ESPN tv show called Dream Job. It pitted hopefuls to be the next Sportcenter anchor. It literally was a dream job. One contestant was Jason Horowitz. Jason did not win. But since the show he has gone on to have success. He is all over CBSSportsline (my go-to sports website). He covers college basketball, the NFL, and anything else you could imagine. Jason was nice enough to spend some time with TGR. After talking with him and having friends in common, I got the feeling he deserves all the success he has had. Thanks Jason.

1) You were on the ESPN show Dream Job, which every sports fan wanted to be a part of. How was that experience? What did you take from it
Dream Job was certainly an unusual beginning to a career, but the experience was extremely valuable. It’s not that what we did each week on that show is what I do on a daily basis now, but I learned a lot about handling pressure situations and really enjoyed being a college student getting the opportunity to compete on national T.V. This question often comes up and I always say that ESPN gave me opportunities outside the show that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. After that it was up to me to take my career wherever I could.

2)You work for CBSSportsline (my favorite sporting news site). How did you get that job? What do you do for them?
I began working for in August 2005. That summer I met a man who at the time was the President of CBS Digital Media, and he informed me that CBSsportsline planned to become the first over-the-air network to shoot video exclusively for the internet. So I submitted my resume tape and have worked for CBS ever since. Our first show was an NFL postgame show on September 11, 2005 with 2 separate, 15 minute shows. The Net has obviously evolved since then and most of what we do now is on-demand, shorter segments about all sports including weekly previews of every NFL game and many college football and basketball games. However, I also host our Live full length coverage including Fantasy Football Today and March Madness On Demand at the Half.

3) What else do you do besides work for CBSSportsline?
Aside from hosting videos for, I am the studio host for Westwood One’s Coverage of college football, college basketball and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. I have also worked for MSG in the past hosting the network’s nightly show, college basketball weekly, and calling games for the New York Liberty.

4) In college you covered the Syracuse Orangemen. Are you still an SU fan? How do you like their chances this year?
I will always be an SU fan (yes even football). I liked the team even as a high school kid growing up in Michigan. I loved John Wallace and Jason Hart, then enjoyed covering the team with Carmelo, McNamara and Warrick. They had some great teams while I was there, and I think this year’s has the chance to be a National Champion as well. The 2003 team that won the title had 2 things: a superstar and a lengthy 2-3 zone. This team has an emerging star in Wesley Johnson (not saying he’s close to Carmelo Anthony). It also has a lot of experience and an even longer 2-3 zone. Couple that with the fact that there isn’t a lot of separation between the top 10 teams or so and I think SU can win it again.

5) What advice do you have for up and coming sports writers and reporters?
To remember the reasons you decided to work in sports. Like a lot of industries that are competitive, it’s easy to lose sight of why you wanted to have this type of job in the first place. So just take a moment every now and then to remember that sports are supposed to be fun. They were when you were a kid, they’re still fun now, and it’s important to cover them that way.

6) Does your job as a sports reporter ever conflict with your loyalties to your favorite teams?
I embrace the teams that I grew up enjoying and analysts usually know that. Whether Pat Kirwan throws in a crack about the Lions during a preview (we have done one for every NFL game the last 4 years), or Eddie George cracks on Michigan during one of Westwood One broadcasts, I always think it adds a little flare. It’s one thing to cheer for a team during a broadcast, but we all got into this business because we love sports and have favorite teams, so I think it adds a little color and personality into what we do.

7) If you could interview one player. Any sport. Any era. Who would it be and why?
Without a doubt, it would be Jackie Robinson. I don’t think any single person has influenced sports as a whole in a more positive or dignified manner than he did. With the exception of Joe Frazer, I have never been in awe of an athlete that I have interviewed, but Jackie Robinson (or Joe Louis) would certainly have that influence, and I would have loved to have a chance to just sit and listen to his stories.

8) Final question: Better post game interview – Dennis Green’s “They are who we thought they were”, Allen Iverson’s “Practice?”, or Jim Mora’s “Playoffs?”?
All were great because all were honest emotions and thoughts, but the best in my mind was Jim Mora. Dennis Green was mad at the question, Jim Mora just hated his team


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