Mel Kiper Jr. joined The Action Network's Favorites podcast, and discussed how long it took him to break into the business and what sacrifices he made. The podcast shared this snippet:
I was thinking it would be something in the vicinity of, like, $18,000, and that with inflation that would be about $45,000 in today's dollars and thus not be all that low. However, I was flabbergasted to hear him say that he made just $400 in his first year at ESPN.
An interesting follow-up would be to find out how Kiper supplemented that income, and what he was doing as far as spending on eating, housing, and entertainment.