My name is Bob Liepa, I’m the sports editor for both The Suffolk Times and the Riverhead News-Review newspapers.
My background is in sports. I started out working at a soccer publication and I became the editor of that paper. I also covered sports for Newsday, mostly high schools. I did that for six years. Then I went into news. I went up to Cooperstown, New York, and I became the managing editor of the Freeman’s Journal and I was only there for six months because if you’ve ever experienced a Cooperstown winter, you know. Every day was a blizzard and I said, “I’ve got to go back to Long Island.” The only company in Suffolk County that I applied for was here, The Suffolk Times.
It looked like a good paper. I was hired as a news reporter. I covered the Village of Greenport, schools, police for a couple of years and the sports editor at the time left to take another job and a sports editor position opened up and I was very happy to get back into sports and I’ve been doing it ever since. In the fall alone, the six high schools we cover involve 42 varsity sports teams. That’s the busiest season.
One of the neat things about my job is that I’m involved from beginning to end, I see the whole process through.
I plan out the sports sections, make assignments, I cover games myself, I write, I edit, I take photos sometime, I edit photos and I paginate, laying out the sports sections on Wednesdays. It’s satisfying. What I really love the most is writing; that’s my joy. I love going to a game or doing a feature story and just sitting down and writing.
Everybody talks about my notes. I like to take neat notes, as neat as I can, because it makes it easy to read. I also like lettering. I dabbled a little with calligraphy, although I wouldn’t consider myself a calligrapher, maybe when I retire. So, I take these really intricate notes and people always kid me about it and call it hieroglyphics. I have my own shorthand way of keeping statistics. I even enjoy that process, the actual note taking.
I think I’m fortunate because I’ve been at this company for 25 years and I’ve been a professional journalist for 33 years so I feel like I’m lucky to be doing something that I really love.