The Key Is to Be Unique
English major, writing minor David Seigerman '88 began writing about sports during college, contributing articles to the Ithaca Journal. Right after graduating, he made the most important decision of his life. He turned down a job at a hometown paper, said good-bye to his friends and family, and moved to Tennessee to work for the Jackson Sun. Little did he know that that one choice would eventually lead him to his dream job at the cable network CNN-Sports Illustrated. Thirteen years (and numerous jobs at papers and magazines that folded) later, his business card now reads, "Producer, CNN-SI."
Since 1996 he has been working for the television version of the famous magazine, covering sports-related news across the country and interviewing popular sports figures, includ- ing Magic Johnson and the 2000 world champion New York Yankees. Unlike most television producers, who mainly create and organize their shows, he writes most of the script that goes to air. So how did he go from a four-person editorial print operation --- where he did everything from writing the copy to laying out the page --- to working in television at one of the most prestigious sports news stations?
He had applied for a writing position at Sports Illustrated (the magazine), and even though he didn't get it he was offered the television job. Despite his lack of TV experience, his writing skills and media experience fit the employer's needs. "That's the beauty of writing," Seigerman said during a recent visit to Ithaca College, where he spoke to a group of about 30 aspiring writers. "It can open doors anywhere." During his presentation, he encouraged the students to "write as much as possible. The key, he said, "is to be unique. Don't write anything that sounds the way you've heard it before. If you do, you're not working hard enough."
--- Brian Fisher '01