Obama: I Want to Host ESPN's 'SportsCenter' When I Retire
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
If you have any doubt as to how much of a sports junkie Barack Obama is, check in with the entertainment moguls who attended a private briefing with the president Nov. 26 before his speech at Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation campus in Glendale.
At the end of the conversation -- which touched on a myriad of topics, from piracy to Iran -- Obama revealed what's at the top of his bucket list post-White House: "At least I know what I want to do when I retire … host ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 list," Obama quipped as he turned to Disney's Robert Iger, whose empire includes ESPN.
The highlights countdown can feature everything from major sports to bull fighting to high school basketball. Other than having a good laugh, Iger apparently didn't respond.
"Everyone had a good giggle," says one person who attended.
The private meeting with Iger featured other moguls, including Disney's Alan Horn, Fox's Jim Gianopulos, Sony's Amy Pascal, and CBS' Leslie Moonves.
In a polished speech before the entire DWA staff and others in attendance, Obama praised the entertainment industry as an "engine" of the economy and as part of America's "diplomacy." He also joked that his ears were the inspiration for the studio's Shrek.
Obama's appearance at DWA wrapped up a two-day trip to Southern California that included two fundraising events, one at the home of Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, and the other at the home of Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl.