MIAMI – This morning, SportsCenter anchors Elle Duncan and Michael Eaves returned to the annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention as co-hosts of the annual Sports Task Force Mentor Breakfast – Powered by ESPN.
They’ve co-anchored this event before, two years ago in New Orleans when former SportsCenter anchor and current ABC Good Morning America host Robin Roberts sat on the dais of guest speakers.
The breakfast, organized by NABJ’s Sports Task Force, provides an opportunity for journalists to network and share industry experiences and wisdom. It also helps ESPN’s recruiting efforts during the NABJ Convention and Job Fair, which began here Wednesday and concludes Sunday, Aug. 11.
Before the breakfast in the J.W. Marriott Hotel, Front Row spoke with Duncan and Eaves, who were introduced to the attendees by ESPN Executive Vice President, Content, Connor Schell.
How did you prepare for this year’s event?
Duncan: I am hoping to offer the perspective of how mentoring isn’t exclusive to fresh out of college journalists or young professionals. I lean on people so much now more than ever, specifically on Eaves who has been forced to be my mentor by default as my friend. The ability to have a trusted advisor to set you straight is invaluable and possible thanks to NABJ.
Eaves: This year we are making a concentrated effort to reinforce the original idea behind the breakfast and that is mentoring. Elle came up with a cool idea for audience participation to make sure that people are making connections – during and after the breakfast – that will benefit them both in the short and long term.
Why is this breakfast important to ESPN?
Duncan: There are people I met at this breakfast a couple of years ago as young journos and I’m now doing segments with on SportsCenter. It’s an incredible identifier of the next wave and a tribute to those who have been setting the standard for years. That duality is rare and speaks to the impact the breakfast can have.
Eaves: This breakfast has been one of the most well-attended morning events at NABJ for more than a decade. Anyone who is working in sports usually attends. It gives ESPN yet another opportunity to identify and meet the most promising talent – both on and off-air – in the industry. Countless ESPN careers have started at this breakfast.