John Ourand never imagined becoming a journalist. After graduating from the University of Maryland (’89) as an English major he thought he was a good writer, but had no clue what to do in life. He was most concerned with trying different things and finding his right fit
He grew up in Washington, D.C., and one of his first memories was the Watergate scandal covered by Carl Bernstein and, one of Ourand’s media idols, Bob Woodward. Each morning he read the newspaper cover-to-cover. A frequent stop of his was Michael Wilbon’s column in the sports section. In his first apartment, the lure of a 24/7 sports channel, ESPN, among other things, ensured that cable television was one of his first purchases. Journalism, specifically good journalism, was always attractive to Ourand, he just never imagined that it would turn into a career.
Now, Ourand is one of the most well-respected sports business reporters in the industry. He broke the most recent round of NFL media deals that equated to roughly $7 billion in 2011. Most recently, he’s documented the modifications ESPN has made to adjust to the media landscape and profiled some of the top figures at sports media corporations.
His start in journalism began in 1990, when Ourand was just glancing through the one-ads in the newspaper. Becoming a reporter was not even in the cards for him, but he liked sports and he knew how to write. Eventually he got picked up as a sportswriter for a weekly publication in Montgomery County. There, he also covered the general assignment beat and later worked abroad covering cable television in Europe for a separate publication. One day he just woke up and said, “Wow, I guess this my career. I’m a journalist.”
Since then Ourand, 51, has spent a better part of his life in the journalism field. The past 12 years with Sports Business Journal.
Breaking news is a passion for Ourand and it’s borderline addictive for him. But, insider pieces, which Ourand calls “tick-tock” stories, are his favorite to write. No matter the subject though, Ourand can succeed.
Day-in and day-out he covers stories that not only affect sports, but society as a whole. There are billions of dollars pumped through sports leagues and teams every year. This money changes not only how society operates, but how it can change the economy. He enjoys every second of the job as a sports business reporter and there is not a bad story that his editor could throw at him. His interests are sports, business and the media, which just so happened to turn into a career for him.
Ourand resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children.