Ohio Journalist

Career Connections

By Sam Mullan

(December 1, 2015) — Sports journalists constantly dream of the opportunity to work for organizations like ESPN or CBS Sports, but very few get the chance to do so. For Scott Johnson, however, it is all he has ever known.

Johnson (BSJ ’81) came to Ohio University planning to use his degree for written journalism, but when CBS Sports’ then-president visited campus to give a speech, Johnson decided he should introduce himself — a move that changed his life.

“We ended up going to McDonald’s and he bought me a McChicken,” Johnson said. “I asked him how to get into TV, although I had never taken a TV class before.”

Johnson then was offered a chance to interview for a broadcast associate position with CBS Sports, even though he wasn’t considered to be experienced enough to get the job. Out of nearly 500 applicants, Johnson ended up being one of the five employed at the end of the interview process.

Johnson spent 10 years with CBS Sports doing multiple behind-the-scenes jobs. Before the 1990 football season, he was offered the chance to switch to ESPN and was told he could live anywhere he wanted. Johnson accepted the opportunity and moved back to Ohio, where he and his wife would raise their new family.

In his 33 years in the industry, Johnson has noticed the vast network of Ohio alumni he runs into, whether they are on-air talent, videographers or directors, like himself.

“It’s amazing how often I run into Ohio grads,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of Bobcats in the TV industry.”

Johnson can say something many people wish they could: He has attended and helped with the coverage of some of the biggest sporting events year-in and year-out, including the College World Series, March Madness and the Super Bowl. Part of his job has also asked him to travel, taking him to Australia, Russia and Europe.

“I’m truly someone who’s seen the world,” Johnson said.

Although he has received a variety of opportunities throughout his career, Johnson has yet to attend the Olympics and the Major League Baseball World Series. Having been a baseball player at Ohio, he hopes to finish off his stretch through such major sporting events. Even if this does not happen, Johnson has appreciated the life he has lived.

“I have no regrets,” Johnson said. “There’s nothing left I haven’t done that I really want to.”

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