- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One of the first questions Tony Snow was asked at his inaugural White House press briefing concerned his ties to previous employer Fox News.

“It was a clean break,” the president’s new press secretary explained later, adding that he had about two years left on his Fox contract when he resigned. He described the process he went through to leave the News Corp. company.

His last day on the Fox books was May 7, and he officially became a White House employee May 8. Mr. Snow said government rules precluded him from receiving any future payouts or employment considerations from Fox.

“It was like, ‘Thank you for working here. Bye,’” he said.

Mr. Snow had joked before accepting the press secretary job that he would have to take a hefty pay cut. We do not know what his salary was for hosting a daily radio show and “Weekend Live” on the Fox News Channel, but for comparison’s sake, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan earned $161,000 last year.

“Brian & the Judge,” hosted by Brian Kilmeade and former judge Andrew Napolitano, has filled Mr. Snow’s Fox radio slot from 9 a.m. to noon. The show can be heard on both satellite radio providers, but has yet to be picked up by a local station. Mr. Snow’s show had been heard on WMET-AM (1160) until March 24, when the station switched to paid programming.

Another player?

Washington Post Radio (WTWP 1500 AM and 107.7 FM), which already had exclusive rights to Washington Nationals games, recently agreed to a two-year deal to air George Washington University (GWU) men’s basketball games, and more sports are in Bonneville International stations’ future.

In addition, WFED will be the home of U.S. Naval Academy Athletics in the District, and WTWP will be the home of Navy football. The deal consists of broadcasting all 12 football games (plus postseason bowl games), 10 men’s basketball games and four men’s lacrosse games on WFED.

There are plans to broadcast 10 of the football games (plus bowl games) on WTWP. Those 10 football games will be simulcast with WFED and WTWP.

“We’re definitely not done from a play-by-play perspective,” said Michael Spacciapolli, play-by-play sports director for the company’s D.C. stations, which also include WTOP and WGMS. “It will be a large part of [WTWP] moving forward.”

Mr. Spacciapolli said the deal with GWU allows the station to pursue a contract with a local professional team that plays during the winter months. He has had discussions with both the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals, although the station could only sign one deal.

But WTWP faces stiff competition from incumbent Clear Channel Radio’s WTEM-AM (Sports Talk 980) and the fledgling Red Zebra Broadcasting started by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

“Red Zebra certainly changes the landscape in the play-by-play arena, and we change the landscape even more,” Mr. Spacciapolli said, adding that local professional and college teams are interested in WTWP because of the potential distribution on both 1500 AM and 107.7 FM.

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WETA’s art show

WETA-FM (90.9) this month introduced “Out & About With 90.9,” a local weekend arts, cultural and entertainment program that the station produces. The one-hour program debuted May 13 and includes cultural features and on-location reporting from theaters and nightclubs to symphony halls and museums.

WETA-TV (Channel 26) “Around Town” panelist Joe Barber and 90.9 announcer Nicole Lacroix, both of whom are D.C. natives, host the program. It airs on Saturdays at noon and is replayed on Sundays at 8 p.m.

Show features include an interview with the folks from the State Theatre in Falls Church, a story about immigrant artists, and another piece about the struggles of women in the arts, Mr. Barber said.

“I’m hoping the show will be well-received … informative and entertaining is our goal,” he said.

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