Information Diet: Ed Burns

Actor/director follows Giants in print, taps iPad for virtually everything else

Headshot of Emma Bazilian


Age 44

Accomplishments Actor, producer, writer, director; his latest film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, opened in theaters Dec. 7

Base New York

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

I read the sports pages in the New York Post to find out how my respective teams have done. I’m a die-hard Giants fan, thank God. However, I am also a Mets fan, so I know what it’s like to suffer for at least half the year. And I’m an insane Knicks fan.

What do you read or watch or listen to at the breakfast table?

I read the Times on my phone or my iPad as I’m making breakfast for the kids, or I’ll catch up with Meet the Press or Face the Nation because I never have time to watch them on Sunday morning. I also love the podcasts Filmspotting and The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith.

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

It’s always the script that I’m working on—trying to crack a scene, a character or sometimes the whole thing.

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

The bulk of the TV we watch at home is sports. That said, we are addicted to a handful of shows: Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire. We never watch any program when it airs—everything is on the DVR or on-demand. If there’s something my wife doesn’t want to watch with me, like an old Michelangelo Antonioni movie, I’ll stream it on Netflix on my iPad after she’s gone to bed.

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

Watch a little TV, check Twitter, and I’ve given up hardcovers, so I now exclusively read books on the iPad. The latest is Jonathan Tropper’s One Last Thing Before I Go.

Which is more nutritious: print or Web?

It’s a little blurry because I never buy the printed copy of anything. I read my Rolling Stone, the Times, The New Yorker on the iPad. But as far as what’s more nutritious, I like the old guard.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

I’ve got a new one, Bill Simmons’ Grantland. It has these incredible articles on pop culture. I’m also a fan of Flicklist, which I’m involved with as an advisor. It’s a way for movie geeks to keep track of the movies they want to see. But I use the Notes app more than anything else. I’ve written 25 pages of a screenplay on that thing.

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

I don’t know that I do a good enough job of cutting out the fat. I used to read a lot more fiction prior to having all this technology in my life, and now I find myself easily distracted. One article takes you to another article which takes you to a website, and all of a sudden it’s 11:30.

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.