Chicago Sports Lover Turns Passion into Career
Every morning, he wakes up with an unpredictable day in front of him. Some may think he merely shows up for the game then goes back to the office to write a quick overview. There is much more to Bruce Miles’ job as the Chicago Cubs beat reporter at the Daily Herald than one may think.
Miles, 56, was born and raised in Chicago. As a kid, he not only loved to watch sports, he loved to play sports. Though he writes for the Cubs today, he refers to himself as a “rare bird” that follows both the rivaling White Sox and the Cubs.
As a die-hard Chicago sports fan with an enthusiasm for reading and writing, Miles knew exactly what he wanted to major in when searching for colleges.
“I was looking for a strong, liberal arts curriculum, which Loyola offers,” he said.
When he wasn’t in class, Miles spent his spare time at the radio station, which was WLT at the time. Along with his serious involvement at the station, he specifically remembers the people he spent it with.
“I wasn’t in a fraternity, but the radio station kind of provided that family-like atmosphere. We all knew each other, ate together, we fought together, we argued together, we went to class together,” he said. “A lot of my existence in college revolved around the radio station.”
Although Miles stresses the importance of Loyola’s hands-on communications program, he found the core curriculum to be even more invaluable. Through his general education classes, he studied subjects like history, political science, and sociology. With a well-rounded education, Miles can write about sports while incorporating other aspects of information and news.
“I think the core curriculum, more than anything else, really prepared me to go out into the world. You really need to be well-rounded,” Miles said.
After graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts, Miles was fortunate enough to turn his summer internship at the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin into a full-time job. This opportunity convinced him to pursue the print route of journalism.
For the next few years, Miles worked various jobs as a writer until 1981 when he moved to the Daily Herald as a sports stringer. Then, in 1988, Miles was hired to work the copy desk when the Herald decided to expand their sports department. Nine years later, the Cubs job opened up.
“I got the job in December of 1997 and my first spring training was February of 1998. I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Perhaps Miles’ favorite thing about being a reporter is the not knowing. Like the world of news, Miles says the world of sports has a constant flow of incoming information.
“That’s all part of the excitement in that no day is ever the same and that something crazy, something different can and probably will happen that day,” Miles said.
With the rise of social media and its impact on the news industry, Miles is constantly on the job. On Facebook, Miles can get into discussions with his readers and share photos while Twitter allows him a faster interaction over daily news. His blog, which he updates several times a week, is where he likes to dig into some deeper topics.
“Social media allows you to get your news and views out immediately and to interact with your readers and followers. Bottom line, the news cycle is pretty much 24/7 because of social media. It’s made [the job] both more challenging and more fun.”
As any Cubs fan knows, the unpredictability of this team can be just as uncertain as the job of a reporter. When the Cubs are, let’s say, not doing so well, Miles approaches these stories as fair and objective as possible.
“One of the things I’ve prided myself on is that people with the Cubs have said to me, ‘We don’t always agree with what you’ve written but we respect that you’re fair to us,’ he said. “I had a pitcher on the Cubs tell me, ‘If I suck, write that I suck, but just don’t get personal.’”
When Miles isn’t putting in long hours with the Cubs, he enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his family. His job may be hectic and always erratic, but he never forgets the values Loyola instilled in him as a Rambler.
“The diversity of Loyola, the core curriculum and all the different points of view that you were exposed to in every class and every dealing really helped broaden your mind and your thought process,” Miles said, “So you take that with you and apply it in your job knowing that your job is just one little part of a bigger world.”