ESPN's Bob Ley Shares Lessons Learned in His 40 Year Career

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Bob Ley, Sports Journalist and Former Host of Outside the Lines on ESPN, to talk about the evolution of ESPN, his retirement from ESPN after 40 years, the interviews and stories that have had a profound impact on him, as well as the important connection between sports and leadership.

7/22/19 #2236






"Hi, I'm Steve Adubato. This is One on One. Coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in beautiful Brick City, Newark, New Jersey. It's our honor, my pleasure, to introduce an icon in our business... [laughter] You like that? No, stop it. Bob Ley, who has been the host of Outside the Lines at ESPN for more than a few years. We're taping this show on the 27th of June. On the 26th, Bob Lee, after 40 years at ESPN, just about the first to go on the air there, around '79, announced that you were gonna step down? Yeah, retire. And the right decision at the right time for the right reasons, and time to step back, take my life from Mach 3 to subsonic and relax a little bit. Interesting. For those... and hopefully... we don't know if Outside the Lines will continue? Oh it will. Oh yeah. Describe for folks... and by the way, go on our website, connect to their website. What is that show? Because I've been fascinated by it for years. It debuted in 1990. Our network went on the air in 1979, Outside the Lines began in 1990. And we look at the intersection of sports and society, the stories that are off the field. Be it race, be it amateurism, be it steroid use, be it corruption issues, around the world on a daily, monthly, weekly basis, and it's... We're given carte blanche and we try not to abuse that, and we've... it's taken me all over the world and it's been fascinating. You know, you and I had an offline conversation a couple weeks ago because you were teaching a master class at one of the universities we're very much connected to, one of our academic partners, Seton Hall University, and I've done some lecturing there as well and... I'm fascinated by leadership, as you know, you are as well. What's the connection in your mind? Sports and leadership? I think... and I see it on a daily basis. I still use the present tense, I guess I'll slip to the past eventually... in just putting, for example, a program together. In television and sports television. It's leadership by example, it's getting a group of people to do something that's greater than they can do separately. It's getting 10 or 12 people around the table, or 10 or 12 people in a locker room to sign on to a core set of values, into a common, agreed goal, and do that. And when you see it happen... and when you see it happen in a team... you see it in rock music..."