Today, Andrea Kremer will be inducted into the Cynopsis Sports Hall of Fame as its inaugural member for her work in front of the cameras as well as behind the scenes as a producer. After storied runs at ESPN and NBC, Kremer now finds herself coming full circle as part of NFL Network and HBO as well as an instrumental part of CBS Sports Network’s new series We Need to Talk.
Boasting a pair of Emmys, iconic interviews with the biggest athletes in sports and a resume that has influenced both pop culture and sports history, Kremer spoke with Cynopsis Sports about her legacy, the state of journalism, memorable interviews and the one sport she wishes she had the chance to get more involved with.
Kremer on her career: The thing I am most proud of is the longevity factor. In an age when you see people that literally pop on to the scene and they have a shelf life of 2, 3, 4 or 5 years, the flip side of that and feeling like you are old is that you bring consistency and longevity to the table. That’s something I am really proud of. From a sports business perspective, the irony is not lost on me that my first job in television was as the first female producer at NFL Films. Now, I’ve come full circle as part of NFL Network and at HBO, because the first thing I produced at NFL Films was Inside the NFL. I feel like, as my career continues to ascend, I’ve watched the sports business industry just blossom and grow exponentially. When I got to NBC in 2006, it was just NBC. There wasn’t an NBCSN, so I find it amazing how the proliferation of networks has exploded over the course of my 30 some years in the business.
On her journalism philosophy: It has always been very important to me that it is nice to be first, but it is imperative to be right. That is one of the issues with Twitter, and you have to be really careful before you hit send. It isn’t just about trying to be sensational and trying to grab followers. You have to make sure you are right with what you are reporting. Do you want to be first or do you want to be right? I want to be both, but I have to be right.
On memorable interviews: If you single one out then you are almost saying that others weren’t as good but clearly one thing that has been a hallmark of my career over the years has been sitting with athletes who have suffered a profound loss and having them talk about it first. Whether that’s Javon Walker, whose teammate was shot and killed and literally died in his arms, or Trent Dilfer and the death of his son. Two still resonate for me and it was the only interview they did about it ever. One was Joe Jurevicius, who won a Super Bowl while his son was in the hospital and later died at 40 days of age. That was probably the hardest interview I’ve ever done because I had a one-year old. I didn’t appear on camera because I was emotional during the interview. One of the most surprising was Cris Carter admitting that he was an alcohol and drug addict. I showed up to do the interview and he decided that was the day to talk about it. The story aired on a Sunday and on Monday the phone rings and it was Cris and he said to me that he and his wife Melanie knew he did the right thing with the right person. That was a meaningful thing to hear. We in the media have to remember that may be our story but it is their life.
On a sport she wished she was able to cover more often: Tennis! I love the sport and love to play it. I think Roger Federer is such a magnificent athlete and I don’t know him and I want him to be a great guy. I enjoy it and I’ve been to Wimbledon and the French and the US Open and would love to do more.