Writer's Spotlight: Adrian Wojnarowski
by: Joe McDonald | Publisher and Editor-in-Chief | Thursday, January 13, 2005
The Olympics always lends itself to drama. The games constantly have something on the line and the stories behind the athletes that participate also have an extraordinary flair.
That’s why Bergen Record columnist Adrian Wojnarowski loves writing about the Olympiad.
“Covering the Olympics always provides me with the best [drama] and I do my best work there,” Wojnarowski told NY Sports Day. “A lot of what I do day to day here is nothing special, but when I go to the Olympics, there is always something on the line and that makes for great writing.”
Wojnarowski is a student of his craft. He loves sports for the subject matter it provides, rather than being a fan of the games itself. His true passion is reporting and telling a story.
“I think if you love to write and love to report, then sports is the best canvas there is for drama,” the reporter said. “It lends itself to great writing.”
It's no coincidence that the 35 year-old was twice honored by the AP Sports Editors as Columnist of the Year and he also gets other work outside The Record, including a regular feature on ESPN.com, various radio appearances on TV and radio, and he just finished his first book, The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty.
“I loved doing the St. Anthony book,” Wojnarowski explained. “That year [at the school], there was so much on the line. Either they are going through the year with [Hurley] or they were going to sink back in the city and not get out of that place.”
Great writing is nothing new for the Bristol, CT native, who started his professional career as a senior in high school when he began working for the Hartford Courant. He continued to report for the Courant while on breaks from college at St. Bonaventure and he also wrote for newspapers around the school’s upstate New York campus.
“It gave me a big head start,” he added. “By the time I was taking journalism courses in college, I felt like I was already ahead of the game.”
After graduating from college, Wojnarowski started writing for some smaller papers and then became a columnist for the Fresno Bee out in 1995. After two years in California, the columnist came back to the East Coast and started working for The Record.
He has been here ever since.
During his tenure, the columnist has covered some major sporting events. With the success of the Yankees, the Giants going to the Super Bowl, the Mets appearing in the World Series and the Knicks reaching the NBA Finals, Wojnarowski has been a part of New York sports history. Even though it looks good on the surface, the writer sometimes feels it’s a drag.
“Probably the hardest part of the job is covering big events,” he explained “Deadlines are not improving in newspapers, but the games are getting later. You wish you had the time to really capture those events.”
It’s the love for the craft that will keep Wojnarowski writing for years to come. Even though he does do television and radio at times, nothing beats his first love.
“I will always write,” Wojnarowski added. “I hope to write more books and keep on trying to write great columns. I feel real blessed that I do it.”
Now all he needs is more drama.
Read Adrian Wojnarowski at www.northjersey.com and www.espn.com.