It’s was an event at the very nexus of politics, media, broadcast, tenacity and holiday spirit. That would a gathering Thursday evening hosted by conservative columnist, commentator and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams at the Monocle, the historic eatery not two blocks from the U.S. Capitol.
Among the 150 guests: Rep. Tom Rice, South Carolina Republican; Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, Sinclair Broadcast Group David Smith and his wife Jane, Fox News analyst Juan William, attorney C. Boyden Gray, Industrial Bank president and CEO Doyle Mitchell, Soul of the South Network co-founder and CEO Edwin Avent and The Washington Times editor in chief John Solomon and Alexandria Swoyer, video journalist for the paper.
It is a promising time in particular for Mr. Williams, who has won FCC approval to buy a pair of local television stations in Michigan and South Carolina, a purchase made in concert with a broader series of station acquisitions brokered by Baltimore-based Sinclair.
That company is also in expansion mode. Sinclair, which operates 164 TV stations in 77 markets, just acquired another 18 stations. The television group now reaches approximately 35 percent of U.S. television households and includes Fox, ABC, MyTV, CW, CBS, NBC and Azteca affiliates.
Good cheer, optimism and a few significant conversations was on the agenda at the event, in the meantime. And the evening’s fare? Guests nibbled at such dainties as smoked salmon, grilled fresh vegetables, savory cheeses with grapes, delectable Genoa salami, chicken tenderloins gussied up with wildflower honey and mustard, quesidillas and an intriguing array miniature pastries - all done in inimitable Monocle style.
“For me, this is an evening to remember some wonderful people who helped me over the years, who helped me build long lasting ties, who helped me cross the bridges,” Mr. Armstrong said in an interview. “None of us should forget those who lent us a hand, or shared wisdom. And none of us should forget that everything is a learning experience.”