Short in Stature and Tall in Talent


Photo by Srijan Sen

As a longtime sportswriter and senior editor at Milwaukee Magazine, Howie Magner manages to keep an emotional detachment from the teams and athletes he covers.

“After a while the fandom gets sucked out of you,” Magner told a classroom of journalism students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recently.

As a child, there was rampant relocation for Magner, whose father was serving in the U.S. Air Force. Magner has since lived in New Jersey, Michigan, Denver, Oklahoma and Ohio among other states. Magner was a beat writer for several college sports teams, but switched to news and feature writing at Milwaukee Magazine to better accommodate his family life.

“Sports is just a vehicle to tell stories,” Magner said. “You have to look for different aspects and keep reinventing the wheel.”

Magner describes himself as a versatile writer and has about two decades worth of experience writing and editing for newspapers and magazines. After graduating from University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, Magner worked as a sportswriter for several newspapers such as the Edmund Evening Sun, Springfield News-Sun and Norman Transcript before landing his first major assignment as the sports editor for the Broken Arrow Scout/Ledger.

Magner has been at Milwaukee Magazine since 2007 and is often a guest and an occasional guest host on SportsRadio AM-1250. He also discusses sports once a month on WUWM’s “Lake Effect.”

The self-deprecating Magner jokes that he is usually the shortest journalist in the press box at the sports events he covers.

“Every media outlet serves a purpose,” said Magner. “Narrative non-fiction is all about telling interesting stories about interesting people. Magazines are more of a luxury purchase. The magazine industry was not as drastically affected by changes in the media industry due our niche audience. You have to look for different aspects and continue to reinvent the wheel.”

Srijan Sen is student in the JAMS 500 Advanced Reporting class.