Ten Minutes with Armen Keteyian
Author and Emmy Award winning Broadcast Journalist and "60 Minutes" correspondent
photo by Kristin Burke
What sports did you play growing up?
As a kid I played the big three—baseball, football, and basketball—lettering in all in high school. Baseball was by far my best and favorite sport; I played shortstop and was chosen the MVP of a very good high-school league in Michigan. I was a starting infielder in college for both Central Michigan and San Diego State. My dream of playing professionally died a rather painful death in the batter’s box.
What was one of the hardest interviews to secure? Most recently, Mike Pressler, former Duke lacrosse coach and now the head coach at Bryant University. As expected, Mike was suspicious of the media given the bogus rape case in 2006. We met in person, talked, and texted for hours. I remember standing in my driveway when he called to say he was going to sit for “60 Minutes.” “A.K.,” he said. “I’m in.”
Armen Keteyian is widely recognized as one of the finest journalists of his generation. An 11-time Emmy Award winner, he is the former chief investigative correspondent for CBS News and currently the lead correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime and a contributing correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes.” He, his wife Dede, and chocolate Lab Leroy live in Fairfield near the beach.
Our oldest daughter Kristen had moved near the beach. We fell in love with the vibe here. We’re going on five years now near Penfield and can’t imagine leaving.
What do you do for fun?
Dede, my lovely and understanding wife of 37 years, would say “Not enough!” Right now, my favorite escapes are golf at Brooklawn CC, riding my bike, and reading Lee Child. One of the best things about living in Fairfield—good places to meet and eat. We’re huge fans of Grey Goose. We also love Paci’s, Lianna’s—especially owner Lianna—and the bar at Michael Gennaro’s Steakhouse.
You started out in print. Why the switch into broadcasting?
After seven years as a writer-reporter at Sports Illustrated specializing in investigations, I was ready to move on. I worked the 1988 Olympics in Seoul as the on-deck reporter for swimming for NBC. That led to getting an agent. Over a long audition process I was hired by legendary ABC News president Roone Arledge, a call I will never forget.
Have any TV funny moments to share?
Opening night of the ’88 Olympics, millions watching, and I’m about to interview the head of U.S. swimming about a steroid scandal. In my ear, executive producer Mike Weisman says, “Armen, remember all those [TV] lessons you took? Well, now would be a really good time to put them to use.” Then Bryant Gumbel gets in my ear and says, “Hey, Armen. How do you pronounce your last name?” It ended up being some night—several good reports and no fumbles.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
I’d have to say the pressure of finding a story that cuts through the clutter—that’s original, enlightens, educates, and captures a viewer’s attention for 13 minutes.