Information Diet: Peter King

SI's NFL guy is plugged in to 400 accounts for his football news


Who Peter King

Age 54

Accomplishments Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer; insider reporter on NBC’s Football Night in America; author of six books, including Monday Morning Quarterback: A Fully Caffeinated Guide to Everything You Need to Know About the NFL

Base New York City

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

The New York Times is at my doorstep in the morning. If I have time, I also look at the New York Post and the New York Daily News. I read the sports first, and then I rifle through the front sections. Morning Edition on NPR is on in the house.

Where do you get your sports news?

If there’s anything interesting to read, you’ll find it on Twitter. About 95 percent of the people in my world of information tweet, and they’re all trying to be first. I follow around 400 accounts, like ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, NBC’s ProFootballTalk, guys from Sports Illustrated and the networks, and beat writers covering NFL teams. I also interact a lot with my followers. It helps me feel the pulse of what people are interested in reading about.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

When I take the train to the new NBC Sports network studios in Stamford [Conn.], I usually go online, surf a little bit or maybe do some writing. I have a wireless DSL card.

Are you a TV junkie, or on an airtime-restricted diet?

Because I travel quite a bit, I don’t have much of a regular TV habit. When possible, I watch The Office or Seinfeld reruns. Most nights, I watch The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and I try to watch one of the network evening news shows—usually Brian Williams. I also watch SportsCenter and NFL Live on ESPN, and NFL All Access on the NFL Network.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I’m usually so tired that I just go to sleep, but I try as much as I can to read. I just read The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach, which was really, really good. I was excited to read it for the baseball, but about halfway through, I became more interested in the characters.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

The National Weather Service app is good, especially in the summer—I go to NFL training camps and I like to know what I’m getting into. And I use a lot of sports apps, like ESPN and Sports Illustrated, when I’m traveling.

What’s your biggest digital indulgence?

I probably spend too much time on Twitter. There’s something addictive about having 400 people—many of whom are out in the field—tweeting what they know.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I follow quite a few players on Twitter, and you quickly find out who is a waste of time—it’s not very valuable to know that a safety for the Arizona Cardinals is going to McDonald’s—or who’s got the PR guy writing for them. Then you cut as needed.