How L. Jon Wertheim of ‘60 Minutes’ and Sports Illustrated Spends His Sundays


In his nearly three decades at Sports Illustrated before becoming executive editor, the journalist L. Jon Wertheim bounced all over the world of sports, covering mixed martial arts, the N.B.A., sports psychology and pool hall hustlers.

He became a correspondent for “60 Minutes” in 2017, and is now an on-air analyst for the Tennis Channel, where he covers the four Grand Slam tournaments, including the U.S. Open, which runs this year through Sept. 10. Mr. Wertheim, 53, has also written or co-written 10 books, including “Strokes of Genius,” which painstakingly annotates every shot of the 2008 Wimbledon men’s final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

But until recently, his weekends were devoted to family life.

“A few years ago, this routine would have been very different: coaching girls’ softball, recitals, trying gently to make sure homework gets done,” said Mr. Wertheim, who lives in Chelsea with his wife, Ellie Wertheim, 51, a lawyer and doula. The couple’s two children, Ben, 22, and Allegra, 19, are in college. “Now we’re empty nesters,” he said.

HUEVOS RANCHEROS AND RITUALS I try to write every morning before things get crazy and the emails start coming. I’m up pretty early, and I go to the same diner multiple times every week. It’s three blocks away from my house and I’ve been doing the same thing for years; it’s like my second kitchen. My typical order is iced coffee and huevos rancheros with scrambled eggs.

Depending on what I’m working on, I’ll try and do an hour with my phone down, whether it’s a 60 Minutes script or 500 words of a Sports Illustrated story. I just try to do some writing before the day gets going. I also meet people there a lot. I’ve been there with sources and subjects and athletes, and no one asks them to put their picture up on the wall. No one needs a selfie. No one bothers you.

SWEAT AND REVIEW I usually squeeze in a workout at the 14th Street YMCA. I’ve also been known to do some work there, since it’s basically a block away. I try to break up the tyranny of the treadmill and listen to podcasts or watch a cut for 60 Minutes. I just want to do something so it doesn’t feel like I’m just there.

FAVORITE SUPERMARKET Sunday is grocery shopping day. My wife and I have a very romantic Trader Joe’s date every Sunday. I’m like the unpaid spokesman for Trader Joe’s. I’m from the Midwest; there’s a nice Midwest sort of thrift for sure, but there’s also chicken tikka masala. And I like that they take big swings — things like watermelon jerky, right? It makes you say, this is either a really bold attempt or something that they’re going to regret, but it’s OK. Not everything has to succeed.

HIDDEN NEW YORK We always try to do something sort of off the beaten path in New York. We’ve lived in Europe the past two springs for work and, you know, Paris is great and there’s this and that, and then we’re like, “You know what? We live in New York! We could probably do a little better at taking advantage of being here.”

There’s nothing more humiliating than when a friend comes and they suggest a great bookstore or bar on the Lower East Side and you’ve never heard of it. We’re trying to double down on doing New York stuff, like going to this Mexican restaurant called Taco Vista on Governors Island the other weekend. Citi Bikes have also had a big impact on my New York experience. It makes you realize how small the city can be sometimes.

POWER HOUR Sunday is “60 Minutes” night. We try to watch in real time, and I may or may not be known to watch a little football before the show comes on. I can’t deny the power of that lead-in.

I’m learning as I go with “60 Minutes.” I didn’t start out on TV, and there are these little nuances that I see my colleagues doing when they ask a question. I’m trying to pick up those things. Even things like clothing: I didn’t realize that this outfit was appropriate for that shoot and this one should stay in the closet. By the time the story airs, you’ve probably seen it a dozen times and it’s still cool. I’m still trying to learn from all of my colleagues, but it’s still a rush.

Sunday Routine readers can follow L. Jon Wertheim on X at @jon_wertheim.

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