US’ biggest newspaper chain hires full-time Taylor Swift reporter
The biggest newspaper chain in the US has hired a full-time Taylor Swift reporter.
Gannett recently recruited a journalist called Bryan West to work out of the Tennessee-based newsroom for USA Today and the chain’s more than 200 local dailies.
“I would say this position’s no different than being a sports journalist who’s a fan of the home team,” West told Variety. “I just came from Phoenix, and all of the anchors there were wearing Diamondbacks gear; they want the Diamondbacks to win. I’m just a fan of Taylor and I have followed her her whole career, but I also have that journalistic background: going to Northwestern, winning awards, working in newsrooms across the nation. I think that’s the fun of this job is that, yeah, you can talk Easter eggs, but it really is more of the seriousness, like the impact that she has on society and business and music.”
West previously worked for an NBC affiliate in Phoenix, often acting as “a one-man band” by carrying around a camera and shooting his own interviews.
At the time, he was so renowned for his love of Swift among his colleagues that they ” would make fun of me [live on air], saying things like, ‘We’re surprised Bryan didn’t call in sick to work today because Taylor released a new album.’
West also revealed that he had a more serious side, particularly when it came to the steps he took to get sober five years ago.
“I was at a crossroads where I felt like I could live in this darkness or I could wake up and try and be a better person,” he said, “so part of that for me was stepping back from news. I joined a local CrossFit gym that works with people in sobriety and recovery. And then I started working for a company where I traveled the U.S. working with high school student leaders — and I loved that because I could geek out and I want to be known for being a good person. And that was me stepping back from news.
“And I told them, jokingly, ‘If I could report on Taylor Swift every day.’ So it almost felt like a manifestation when that same colleague texted me and said, Hey, your dream job just became available.’”
Meanwhile, Swift recently released the re-recorded version of her 2014 album ‘1989’, which went on to outsell the original in sales for debut release weeks, making it her best first week for an album ever. It also became the first ‘Taylor’s Version‘ re-recording to surpass the original in its opening week in sales alone.