- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2003

WUSA-TV (Channel 9) shook up its sports department yesterday: Two anchors, Steve Davis and Frank Herzog, were shuffled to new shifts, and a third, Ken Mease, was fired.
Beginning tonight, Mr. Herzog a fixture at the CBS affiliate for most of the last 34 years will become its main sports anchor, delivering the scores during the weeknight newscasts. He will be WUSA's fifth sports chief since 1992 and the third in the last eight months.
Mr. Davis, the main sports anchor since September, moves to weekends, where he will replace Mr. Mease, a 17-year WUSA veteran.
"We are committed to providing excellence in sports coverage. We feel this plan best serves our viewers," said Ardyth R. Diercks, president and general manager. She declined further comment.
Turnover at WUSA's sports department has been common since the death of legendary anchor Glenn Brenner in 1992. None of his successors Warner Wolf, Ken Broo and Jess Atkinson clicked with viewers.
Mr. Davis, a Baltimore sportscaster who replaced Mr. Atkinson, rankled co-workers, staffers said. At a November press conference in Hyattsville, Mr. Davis apparently frustrated with technical difficulties at the station walked away in a huff, moments before he was scheduled to deliver a live report, forcing the anchors in the studio to apologize to viewers.
Staffers said Mr. Davis tried to blame his producers for the foul-up, but management sided against him. "He made himself very unpopular around here," one source said.
Mr. Davis declined comment.
Mr. Herzog, the station's morning sports anchor since 2000, said Mr. Davis "was very gracious" when he spoke with him after management circulated a memo announcing the changes.
Mr. Mease took the news of his firing well, Mr. Herzog said. "He took it better than I did."
Mr. Herzog began his career as a newsroom copyboy at WUSA in 1969. In 1983, he left to become sports director at WJLA-TV (Channel 7), but returned to WUSA-TV 10 years later.
Since 1974, Mr. Herzog has called Washington Redskins games on radio, currently WJFK-FM (106.7).

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