Episode 59: Don Van Natta Jr.

Don Van Natta Jr. is a senior writer for ESPN Digital and Print media. He was recently named a finalist — along with his reporting and writing partner Seth Wickersham — for a National Magazine Award in reporting for three stories: “Sin City or Bust,” “Standing Down,” and “Roger Goodell has a Jerry Jones problem.” Wickersham appeared on Episode 28 of the podcast, back in 2014.

Van Natta has had quite the illustrious career. He’s been on three Pulitzer Prize winning reporting teams — two at the New York Times and one at the Miami Herald.

He joined ESPN in 2012, and has since produced many features and investigative pieces centered around the NFL. His profile of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in August 2014 is particularly amazing because of the access he got from a subject who initially did not want to participate.

In 2014, Van Natta started the Sunday Long Read newsletter with Jacob Feldman, a reporter for Sports Illustrated. The two launched the Sunday Long Read podcast in August of last year, and so far has produced more than a dozen episodes featuring some amazing reporters and writers.

Van Natta is currently working on a book with Wickersham. The book, tentatively titled “Powerball,” will be published by Crown Archetype in 2020.


Episode 58: Leonora LaPeter Anton

Leonora LaPeter Anton is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the Tampa Bay Times’ enterprise team. In January, the Times published her story, “Gang raped at 17. Therapy at 65.”

The story follows the attempt of Evelyn Robinson to cope with a horrific rape, 48 years after it happened.

LaPeter Anton has been at the Tampa Bay Times since 2000. She won a Pulitzer for her work in an investigation into the failing mental hospitals in the state of Florida.

She also contributes to the newspaper’s occasional series, Encounters, which are short narratives about people living ordinary lives in south Florida. Her most recent Encounter focused on a woman applying for a job at Subway.

LaPeter Anton grew up in Connecticut and Greece, and studied journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Episode 57: Christopher Goffard

On this episode of Gangrey: The Podcast, host and producer Matt Tullis talks with Christopher Goffard about “Dirty John,” a combination print series and podcast. Goffard is an author and staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. “Dirty John” focuses on the relationship between Deborah Newell and John Meehan. It was a relationship Deborah’s children hated, and one that ended in the death of one person.

Goffard shared in the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for the LA Times’ investigation into the city of Bell, California. He has twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing, in 2007 and 2014.  His book, “You Will See Fire: A Search for Justice in Kenya” was based on his LA Times’ series and was published in 2011.

He’s also a successful fiction writer. His novel “Snitch Jacket” was a finalist for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2008.


Episode 51: Glenn Stout

Glenn Stout is the series editor of Best American Sports Writing and the author of the book “The Selling of the Babe: The Deal that Changed Baseball and Created a Legend.”

Over the last year, Stout has been working with nonfiction writers when it comes to developing book proposals. From July 14-16, he’ll be doing a workshop on that subject at the Archer City Story Center in Archer City, Texas. Stout will also be on the faculty of the story center’s week-long literary nonfiction workshop, which takes place July 23-30.

Archer City is the hometown of Larry McMurtry, and is the inspiration for the setting of his novel “The Last Picture Show.” The story center is just about a year old, and is starting to offer more workshops that aim to help all sorts of storytellers.

Host Matt Tullis will also be doing a workshop on developing a podcast there this summer. That workshop will take place the the weekend of August 11-13.


Episode 45: Michael Brick

This episode is devoted to the life, stories and music of Michael Brick. Brick wrote for the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, Harper’s Magazine. He also wrote the book “Saving the School.”

Brick passed away in February from colon cancer. In Brick’s final days, his friends and fellow reporters scrambled to put together a book that contains so many of his amazing stories. That book, “Everyone Leaves Behind a Name,” was published by The Sager Group and is now available. All book proceeds go to Brick’s family. Everyone Leaves Behind a Name

In this episode, I’m going to talk with some of men who put that book together. On the show we’ve got Ben Montgomery, a senior writer at the Tampa Bay Times, Michael Kruse, a senior staff writer for Politico, Wright Thompson, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, Thomas Lake, who covers politics for CNN Ditital, and Tony Rehagen, a freelance writer living in Atlanta.

For Montgomery, Kruse and Thompson, this is their second visit to the podcast.

During the podcast, we listen to one of Brick’s songs. You can listen to that song here.

The book can be purchased at Amazon.com or at The Sager Group’s website.


Episode 41: Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is the author of six books of nonfiction and two novels. His most recent book, “I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)” was a New York Times bestseller.

In the two most recent issues of GQ, Klosterman has interviewed Taylor Swift and Tom Brady. In fact, he’s done several celebrity interviews this year, including Kobe Bryant and Eddie Van Halen.

He’s written for Grantland, Esquire, GQ, Spin, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Believer, and the A.V. Club. He currently serves as The Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine.


Episode 34: Mike Wilson

Mike Wilson, Editor of The Dallas Morning News, photographed February 16, 2015. (Evans Caglage/The Dallas Morning News)
Mike Wilson, Editor of The Dallas Morning News, photographed February 16, 2015. (Evans Caglage/The Dallas Morning News)

Mike Wilson is finishing up his first few months as the new editor of the Dallas Morning News. Wilson came to Dallas from ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight website, where he was managing editor.

Before that, he was the editor of the St. Petersburg/Tampa Bay Times. While in St. Petersburg, Wilson oversaw a staff of incredibly talented writers and reporters, many of whom have been featured on this podcast, reporters like Ben Montgomery, Michael Kruse and Kelley Benham French. During the podcast, we talk about a series of stories that ran in the St. Petersburg Times called Encounters. One by Kruse was about a dad teaching his young daughter how to ride a bike.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the writers Wilson cultivated in Florida. He was the primary editor on Lane DeGregory’s story, “The Girl in the Window,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2009.

During our discussion, we also talk about a story Wilson said he recently read, titled “The Root of All Things,” by Nathan Thornburgh. The piece ran on the website roadsandkingdoms.com, an independent journal of food, politics, travel and culture. It’s a story well worth checking out.