- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Rene Knott is expected to depart ABC affiliate WJLA-TV (Channel 7) Friday after almost 12 years as its sports director. His next stop will probably be St. Louis.

Last month, WJLA managers hired ABC Sports announcer Tim Brant as the station’s main sports anchor, saying they hoped Mr. Knott would stick around as Mr. Brant’s backup.

No such luck. Mr. Knott, a favorite among viewers and colleagues, decided this week to move on.

“Emotionally, it’s tough for me, but this is what’s good for the department,” Mr. Knott said, adding that his successor is “a great guy.”

Mr. Knott will likely join the NBC affiliate in St. Louis as its sports director, but he also is chatting with WTTG-TV (Channel 5), the Fox station in the Washington area.

Back to Baltimore

Until recently, Steve Davis was a player in the soap opera that is the sports department at CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9). Beginning Monday, he will have a new gig: hosting a sports talk show weekdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Baltimore radio station WBAL-AM (1090).

For those of you keeping score, Mr. Davis joined WUSA in September 2002 as its main sports anchor, but management had a change of heart and moved him to the weekend shift in March 2003.

He then disappeared from the airwaves but continued to work behind the scenes. According to knowledgeable sources, Mr. Davis’ bosses intended to can him but missed the window of opportunity in his contract. Eventually, he returned to the air.

Of his experience at WUSA, Mr. Davis would only say: “I met a lot of great people at Channel 9. I had a great time, I’m excited to move on and I’m thrilled I have enough money to pay for my kids’ college education.”

Mr. Davis, a weekend sports anchor at Baltimore’s Fox affiliate before joining WUSA, is eager to tackle radio. “I’m going from three minutes on television a day to three hours on radio. I’ll never lose time again to [coverage of] a house fire,” he said.

But he isn’t giving up television altogether. He also will contribute to sister station WBAL-TV (Channel 11), Baltimore’s NBC affiliate.

Rome redux ends

It takes only one local radio station to contain Jim Rome’s ego after all.

Clear Channel Communications Inc. has been simulcasting the syndicated “Jim Rome Show” on its two sports stations in the Washington area — WTEM-AM (980) and WWRC-AM (1260) — since Dec. 15. Beginning tomorrow, WWRC will air Mr. Rome’s program exclusively weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.

Replacing Mr. Rome on WTEM middays will be the syndicated “Dan Patrick Show,” hosted by the ESPN veteran.

Across the dial, Clear Channel’s local talk station, WTNT-AM (570), trimmed Don Imus and G. Gordon Liddy’s syndicated shows to make way for Laura Ingraham, whose new show airs weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

No break from traffic

How important are weather and traffic reports to listeners of WTOP (1500 AM and 107.7 FM)? So important that the all-news station will continue to air the reports “on the eights” even during its much-touted D.C. Democratic primary debate Friday at 10 a.m.

Call Chris Baker at 202/636-3139 or send e-mail to cbaker@washingtontimes.com.

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