Tuesday, July 13, 2004

WTTG-TV (Channel 5) likely will name Shawn Yancy co-anchor of its weekday 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts this week, which could pave the way for Gurvir Dhindsa to replace her on the Fox station’s early morning newscast.

Ms. Yancy and WTTG weekend anchor Laura Evans have been vying for the afternoon and evening job since December, when Tracey Neale left the position to join CBS affiliate WUSA-TV (Channel 9).

Knowledgeable sources said WTTG managers have decided to give the gig to Ms. Yancy, who co-anchors the station’s weekday 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. newscast.

The sources said it is still possible — but unlikely — WTTG will split the job, assigning Ms. Yancy to co-anchor the 10 p.m. newscast with Brian Bolter and tapping Ms. Evans to sit next to him at 5 p.m.

Ms. Dhindsa, who signed off at WUSA on Friday, auditioned at WTTG yesterday with morning anchors Michael Gargiulo and Steve Chenevey.

ABC and NBC are also talking to Ms. Dhindsa, a popular morning anchor in Atlanta until joining WUSA in 2000.

Ms. Yancy, Ms. Dhindsa, their agent Peter Goldberg and WTTG managers declined comment or could not be reached yesterday.

In other news: WTTG introduces a one-hour Sunday morning newscast Aug. 15 at 8.

Clampitt v. WAMU

Susan Clampitt, who was fired Oct. 30 as general manager of WAMU-FM (88.5), is suing the NPR station’s owner, American University, and its president, Benjamin A. Ladner, for wrongful termination.

She is seeking more than $12 million in damages, including $3 million for “severe physical, emotional and psychological distress.”

Mr. Ladner dismissed Ms. Clampitt after published reports about financial and morale problems at WAMU.

In a complaint filed June 30 in D.C. Superior Court, Ms. Clampitt’s attorneys stated that Mr. Ladner approved her “financial and budgetary recommendations” and failed to “claim any responsibility for the policies and practices that caused staff discontent.”

The document also states that WAMU host Diane Rehm “informed several individuals” in July 2003 that she intended to force Ms. Clampitt from her job.

Mr. Ladner’s spokesman and Mrs. Rehm could not be reached yesterday.

Back to school

WJLA-TV (Channel 7) anchor Kathleen Matthews will be off the air for 10 weeks in the fall so she can serve a fellowship at Harvard University.

The program begins in mid-September and ends in late November, although she may return for the ABC affiliate’s election-night coverage.

Maureen Bunyan, who just signed a new contract with WJLA, likely will sit in for Mrs. Matthews while she is away.

Where’s Frank?

WUSA will air three Washington Redskins preseason games in late summer, but sports chief Frank Herzog — recently ousted as the “voice of the Redskins” on the radio — will call only one of them, sources close to the team say.

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

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