Curley Center welcomes podcast host as part of Conversation Series

October 13, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The journalist who created the popular “Whistleblower” podcast focused on a disgraced NBA referee and a large-scale betting scandal will visit Penn State for a free public event on Oct. 26.

“A Conversation with Tim Livingston” will be conducted at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library. The event is part of the ongoing Conversation Series presented by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State.

Livingston created the 10-episode podcast focused on NBA referee Tim Donaghy in conjunction with Tenderfoot TV. The podcast examines Donaghy's story and attempts to determine if he was in fact a "rogue" referee, or a small part of a larger betting scandal. The podcast also dissects the NBA's role in the scandal and Donaghy's relationship with referee Scott Foster.

The series won best sports podcast this year at the inaugural Ambies, an industry contest for excellence in podcasting. 

“Podcasting is one of the areas of sports journalism that’s bursting with new projects and creativity. And Tim Livingston is a leader in podcasting,” said John Affleck, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and director of the Curley Center, who will moderate the event. “Tim’s also an engaging and interesting guy. I expect a great conversation.”

Livingston spent eight years investigating the scandal, becoming friends with Donaghy and his co-conspirator, Tommy Martino. The podcast provides new information about Donaghy's alleged game-fixing, Donaghy's relationship with Foster, expanding on the suspicious phone records between Donaghy and Foster, and the NBA's strategy to minimize its exposure.

“Whistleblower” also features former NBA stars Rasheed Wallace, former NBA coach George Karl, and Michael Franzese, a caporegime in the Colombo crime family. In addition to “Whistleblower,” Livingston created the “No Chill” podcast with Gilbert Arenas. Livingston also produced projects with Wallace and former NBA players Bonzi Wells and Nate Robinson.

Livingston began his career as a freelance writer for, a daily online magazine produced by Yahoo Sports, covering college football, MLB, the NBA and the NFL. He then founded, a sports news service that covered news around the sports world at large and was delivered through a free newsletter to fans. The service was acquired by The Action Network in 2018.

Last Updated October 15, 2021