Interview: ESPN’s Mike Rosenhouse

Thanks to correspondent Lauren Abraham and her father Jackson Salasky, TGR was able to catch up with Mike Rosenhouse. Mike is a really nice guy. But more importantly he holds a job every sports fan would love…working for ESPN (in Singapore). Below is our interview with Mike, enjoy.

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into working for ESPN Star?
I’ve always wanted to be involved in sports broadcasting in some way, whether reporting, producing, working at a game, whatever.  So, when I was picking my college, I chose the University of Missouri.  At Mizzou, part of the classwork is reporting for the NBC affiliate in Columbia.  In my four years there, I just tried to do as much as I could-news and sports reporting, producing, shooting, anchoring.
After graduating, like so many others, I was pretty nervous about what job I would get.  Luckily, I was able to do sports reporting and news producing on a freelance basis at the NBC station in Denison, TX (an hour north of Dallas, where I grew up).
While still looking for jobs, a media consultant friend of mine told me I needed to be more active on the Internet and with social networking.  He said he had just put out a facebook post supporting me and my search, and of the two responses he got, one was from my future boss in Singapore!
I never studied abroad in college, so this was a great opportunity to see the other side of the world, especially in my early 20s.  Plus, this is the dream, getting to do what I love for a great company.

It really shows off the Wide World of Sports.  I mean, I’ve learned so much about sports I’d never even thought of.  Because of that, it’s helps make my reporting stronger, helping me focus on what the real story is, and how will it appeal to a large audience.

2) What is ESPN Star?
ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) is a major sports broadcaster in Asia.  We have the resources of both ESPN and Star Sports, which is part of the News Corp. family. We broadcast all over Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, India, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and many others.  It’s not one channel though.  For example, India has ESPN India and Star Sports India, and there, we even have a third channel, Star Cricket.
I work on ESPNews here, which launched within the last 7 months. My role is as a producer/editor – I write, edit and voice content for the 24 hours a day network.  It’s great, because I could be working on a story about almost anything – soccer from Europe and Asia, rugby, cricket, Formula 1, World Rally Championship, golf from around the world, plus the American sports like NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.
3) What is the cooslest story you have ever covered? 
The coolest story I’ve ever done was while working in Missouri.   I was set to do a story on a high school basketball player that came from a successful sports family.  Right before we started the interviews, I found out the boy, Mason, had asked his family to adopt another kid on the team named Max.  The story just struck me.  Max had been bouncing around different foster homes, and here is his teammate, truly showing how connected they were. On both ends, what an impressive thing for a family to commit to, and how great it was for Max to finally have a real home.
As for my favorite story at ESS, I really enjoyed getting to do the highlights of David Beckham’s first match against his former club, Manchester United, back in February.  Champions League soccer is so cool, and this game had everything an American sports fan could want.  It had two of the biggest clubs in the world, AC Milan and Manchester United.  There were plenty of stars, Beckham, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney and others.  But most importantly, it was exciting! A goal within the first ten minutes and scoring throughout, ending in a 3-2 Man U win.
4) Do you ever envision yourself as a Sportscenter anchor?
I’d love to eventually be a SportsCenter anchor.  I mean, who wouldn’t?  My dream though is to be more of the Tom Rinaldi type, getting to tell the stories that aren’t just about  sports, but about human triumph. As long as I’m involved in sports though, I’ll be happy.
5) Is there Jewish life in Singapore?
The Jewish life here is very impressive.  I really didn’t know  what to expect when I came here, but it’s exceeded any expectation.  There are two communities here, an Orthodox Sephardic community and a Reform/Conservative one.  I like going to both and meeting more people.  It’s great because there are lots of young people that are active in the synagogues. For such a small island like Singapore, it’s really incredible how there are so many diverse religions with active congregations.
6) What are the main sporting events in Singapore?
I would say the biggest one is the Singapore Grand Prix – it’s the Formula 1 race held here at night in September.  I haven’t been here for that yet, very exited for it though.  Also, the PGA and LPGA have tournaments here.  Plus, they have a national soccer league.
7) Who are the American athletes that they root for in Singapore?
Currently, I think despite everything that’s happened in the last year, Tiger Woods is still the most well known.  I’m sure support for him has gone down a bit, but he’s still the biggest athlete in the world in my opinion.  Kobe Bryant is pretty big, and Lebron is starting to break in as well.  Tennis is also very popular, and people seem to root for the Williams sisters.
If you want to learn more about Mike and check out his website www.mikerosenhouse.com or his twitter account  twitter.com/mikerosenhouse.  Of course you can check out www.espnstar.com as well.
And Let Us Say…Amen.
-Jeremy Fine
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