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King Kaufman
Works at Bleacher Report
Attended University of California, Berkeley
Lives in San Francisco
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King Kaufman

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Excited to announce the release of "Playbook: The Basics of Writing for Bleacher Report," a textbook that I think will help any early-career journalist master the fundamentals of online writing. I've been working on it for months with some of my more brilliant colleagues. It's a free ebook you can download at the link. 
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King Kaufman

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Free Smokejumpers song downloads, pix and show info at DeliRadio. Check it out! 
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Take a look inside a typical "hard-knock" kind of day at Bleacher Report. This new video explains B/R's editorial process. Just a bunch of jokers sitting around writing SEO headlines to "game Google" and "trick" people into clicking, right? Riiiiiiiiiiight.
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My kitchen cabinet: 50 round plastic containers, 50 square lids. 
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I didn't take one ... I'll draw you something!
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Are there TV commercials running? I'm getting more Google+ invites in the last couple days than I ever have before, like, combined.
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The world is taking notice of you, King. Why question fate?
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King Kaufman

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My old friend and writing partner, Dan Todd, died suddenly late last week. If you knew Dan, you probably loved him. You can, in the words of his niece, help memorialize him by giving his son something he would have loved to have given him himself by donating to the Dan Todd Memorial Fund for Ray Mullin. Ray will be attending college in the fall, and this is his college fund. 

http://dantoddmemorialfund.wordpress.com/

If you didn't know Dan, I would consider it a personal favor if you would donate even a few bucks to the fund. 

Dan and I met and became friends in journalism school, and then we wrote two screenplays together. He was from a showbiz family—his grandfather was the famous movie producer Mike Todd, and his father was a TV producer in Ireland, where Dan grew up. He had spent some time in L.A. trying to break in to the business. 

Shortly after we graduated from J school in 1989, Dan got a gig making the "Making of" video for the comedy "Spirit of '76." On the night of his first day on the job, he called me up on the night copy desk at the San Francisco Examiner and said, "Dude, we're writing a movie." He said he'd gotten the shooting script of "Spirit of '76," thought it was complete shit, and that if someone could sell that dog we could get rich writing screenplays. I wasn't really doing anything else, so even though I had no particular interest in screenwriting, I went along. My goal out of the whole thing was to meet Winona Ryder.

Dan and I grew close over the next three or four years as we worked through various drafts of two comedy scripts. He was a big guy with a big personality, bordering on manic at times, slipping into various perfectly rendered Irish and English accents to get his points or jokes across. He could be a lot of fun. He could also drive me crazy. He was hard to be around if you weren't in the mood for balls to the wall. 

And of course we bickered and fought as part of the writing process, though I don't remember us staying mad once we worked through the dispute on the page, each of us taking turns typing into the WordPerfect script template I'd cobbled together on my PC clone. 

The first script was a pretty good idea, I think, but it was tricky, a dark comedy, and we didn't have the chops for it. So we tried again, this time going for simplicity: We were going to write an uncomplicated laff-fest. We did better. We finished it and sent it off to some agents or readers or whoever you send such things to. Dan was the showbiz guy so he took care of that stuff. It never went anywhere, but writing those two scripts was an education in writing for me. I learned a lot about economy of language, pacing, understanding how people speak, things that have served me well in my writing ever since. 

A lot of what I learned, I learned from Dan. He taught me about how movies and screenplays work, the vocabulary of the form. He also taught me that most valuable of writer's lessons: Keep your butt in the chair. He was the taskmaster of our team, putting on a Cockney accent to prod me into another hour: "Kam on, son!"

And he taught me a great word. "You know the word peripatetic?" he asked one day. I said I didn't. "That's the word that describes me." It did. Going out with Dan meant never getting comfortable. After a 20-minute search for a parking space and a 15-minute fight to get a beer, you'd just be savoring that first sip when Dan would be ready to go. He'd say the two words he must have said more than any other two, including "and" and "the": "Let's bolt." 

He told me that when his family would go out to dinner when he was a kid, everybody'd just be starting to eat and he'd already be out in the parking lot, bouncing around outside the window. "Come on, Dad. Let's go!" I used to ask him what he thought he'd find at the next bar that wasn't at this one. "I don't know," he'd say. "I just wanna go." 

And so, he's gone. Yeah, not what he meant. We drifted out of touch after a while, went a decade or so without contact. Dan found me in 2009, asking me to read a treatment he'd written about his grandfather's life and tell him what I thought of it. We emailed back and forth a few times over the next few months, tossing around the idea of reviving the second script we'd written, maybe as a series of web-based shorts. We both thought it might work but we were both too busy to work on it, and we never talked again. 

He still speaks to me, though, in a way. His voice pops into my head when one of the things I learned from him, or learned with him, comes into play as I write. Like all of us do, he'll keep speaking through the people whose lives he touched. 

So this is goodbye. I'll say it how he used to: All the Mae West, my son!
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You've been pining away for 13 years, right? The Smokejumpers are COMING BACK! June 1 at Club 23 in Brisbane. It's a bar, but it's all ages.

https://www.facebook.com/events/295261527271783/
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Happy birthday, Mark Twain. When Sam Clemens was born, 100 people lived in Florida, Mo., his hometown. "I increased the population by one per cent. It is more than the best man in history ever did for any other town.”

It wasn't enough. The town more or less ceased to exist and Clemens grew up in Hannibal, which I wrote about a long time ago. 

http://www.salon.com/2001/10/25/twain_2/
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Great read, King! Thanks for digging it up and sharing.
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Hey it's my acting debut! The first video on the Bleacher Report Blog has me reenacting an important moment from high school, one that taught me something about writing good leads. Cameo by Mike Tyson!
King_Kaufman - Taking The Lead
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I totally thought you said Bee Gees!
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People
Have him in circles
188 people
Dorth Raphaely's profile photo
Maury Brown's profile photo
Matt Leigh's profile photo
Dominic Dela Cruz's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Writer, editor
Employment
  • Bleacher Report
    Manager, Writer Program, 2011 - present
  • Baseball Prospectus
    Co-editor, annual book, 2012 - 2013
  • Salon
    Writer, editor, 1997 - 2011
  • San Francisco Examiner
    Writer, editor, 1989 - 1996
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
San Francisco
Previously
Los Angeles - Santa Cruz - St. Louis - Oakland - Berkeley
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Cover photo: Neifi Perez
Introduction
I am the manager of the Writer Program at Bleacher Report. I wrote the Ron Cey chapter in the 2012 ebook The Hall of Nearly Great. I was the co-editor of Baseball Prospectus 2012, and am co-editing the upcoming Baseball Prospectus 2013

I am the author of the ebook When Curling Was King, a collection of my Salon Winter Olympics columns from 2002 and 2006, and my writing has been anthologized in Top of the Order: 25 Writers Pick Their Favorite Baseball Player of All Time; Afterwords: Stories and Reports from 9/11 and BeyondIron Mike: A Mike Tyson Readerand, fabulously because it's a rhetoric textbook, Dialogues: An Argument Rhetoric and Reader, 4th Edition

From 1997 to 2011, I worked at Salon, where I was an editor and writer, including seven years as a daily sports columnist. In 2009, I co-authored an Open Salon blog about the Future of Journalism

I covered boxing and worked various other jobs during seven years at the San Francisco Examiner from 1989-96. I also had a life as a musician, performing as the King Teen in the bands the Smokejumpers and the Wankin' Teens. 
Education
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
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Male