Welcome to Five Good Questions. 5GQ is a quick chat that won’t really have a focus other than to simply entertain, inform, and maybe spark some conversation.
The first person up for Five Good Questions is Mark Healey, who has been an editor, writer and broadcaster since 1996 for a variety of media outlets. Currently, he is the Managing Editor of The Wave newspaper in Rockaway, NY.
He is also the founding editor of Gotham Baseball magazine, which was named Best New Sports Magazine by Amazon.com in 2005., and is part of the permanent archive at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center in Cooperstown, NY.
As Editor-in-Chief of “Going 9 Baseball” , he spent 2010-2014 as the host of “Going 9 Fantasy Baseball” on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). He also served as the first-ever Online Editor for Baseball Digest magazine (Dec 2009 – Feb. 2012), which has been in publication since 1942, making it the oldest, continuously published baseball magazine in the United States.
A sports writer at the Associated Press from 1998-2006, he has been a guest analyst on dozens of national and local sports programs.
Not only is Mark a true professional, he is an even better person. A champion of the fan, Mark has not only put together a great career in sports media, but he has also helped many–including me–make their way in the industry.
Avalon And Derry: I’ve given you full control of the Mets for the next 10 years. You’re still stuck with the Wilpons as owners. What’s the Healey plan?
Mark Healey: Get another job.There isn’t enough money in the world to make me take the media bullets for a boss like Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon. Better man than me have done it. I wouldn’t last a week.
But to answer your question, I would put a premium on developing position players, not pitchers. I would hire Wally Backman to be my manager and let him do his job.I would realize that the media is my conduit to the fans and try not to sound like a CEO at a shareholders meeting when I give a press conference.
I would engage, encourage and listen to my fan base as much as humanly possible. It’s their team, not mine. I want a team that excites and encourages them.
A+D: You’ve had a great career in the sports media industry that has ranged from working at AP, Sirius/XM, owning Baseball Digest, launching independent outlets like Gotham Baseball Magazine and Going 9, to now working as the editor of The Wave. Where do you see media, specifically sports coverage, in the next 10 years?
MH: Sadly, video and the respective leagues are going to completely take over the industry. I think the days of independent coverage are coming to an end. Teams want pom-poms, not analysis. End users want to have mobile access to everything. I hope I’m wrong, but that is where I see it going.
A+D: Rocky V is clearly the weak link in an otherwise tremendous series. Make a case that Rocky V shouldn’t be erased from the series. Also, rank your six in order of greatness.
MH: Watching Rocky V is like watching Godfather III, Talia Shire and the offspring (the late Sage Stallone and Sophia Coppola) are unwatchable. You simply do the Healey Cut (fast forward every scene the aforementioned are in) and you have so-so films instead of dreadful mistakes. The scene where Stallone is in his basement, watching Tommy Gun fight Union Kane is brilliantly shot, as are the final fight scenes.
As for order, my favorite is Rocky III…but greatness? I,II,III, Balboa, IV V
A+D: You’re an Atlanta Falcons fan. First off, how did that happen? Second, how does Matt Ryan rank in the pantheon of NFL quarterbacks?
MH: That easy, my first football hero was Steve Bartkowski. Ryan is a Top 10 QB and if he ever gets an OL, he’ll be Top 5. Phil Simms called Matt Ryan elite, and I agree. I was concerned when Falcons picked him, but he’s been superb.
A+D: Last one, you’re in front of a room of high school students who hope to pursue a career in media. What’s your best advice?
MH: I’ll tell them what I recently told a group of media students from Jericho High school. Journalists today are like the film stars of the 1930s, they had to excellent actors, singers, dancers, and comedians…a journalist today must be able to produce stories in all mediums and have a wide array of technical and performance skills. Always be prepared, adapt to the modern tech world, and know how to use social media.