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Posted at 09:55 AM ET, 06/05/2008

The WTEM Purchase: Feedback Rolls In

One aspect of this Red Zebra WTEM purchase I hadn't previously considered: don't expect any more (paid) appearances by Washington Post personalities like Mike Wise, Michael Wilbon and possibly John Feinstein. (Not sure if he's free from those restrictions.) The powers-that-be will likely have a dim view of allowing Post employees to cash Daniel-Snyder-signed checks. (And that's just a figure of speech, I can't promise that he actually signs the checks.)

Another aspect I forgot about yesterday: this won't be Andy Pollin's first appearance on the Snyder payroll. He hosted "Redskins Game Day" on Channel 5 during the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

"In the back of my mind," Pollin told The Post's Paul Farhi two years ago, "there was always someone saying, 'Don't blast Dan Snyder if you want to keep this nice little paycheck you're getting [from the team] every week.' "

This is something the Sports Reporters discussed with a degree of seriousness yesterday; whether the effect might be more subconscious than overt, especially for guys with kids and mortgages. Regardless, it should be an entertaining transition. Other opinions....

Steve Czaban, on his blog: "Well, before you think I'm going to be made to walk the plank because of my past, unflinching critiques of Snyder, hold the phone. You never know. I mean, seriously folks. This is business, right? I have an audience, right? Do you really want to start a new business venture and throw out an asset that will hurt your bottom line only on a grudge?

Hell, Marty Schottenheimer said he could never work for Dan Snyder. Then the two had dinner. Next thing you know he's making Bruce Smith do the "Oklahoma drill."

From Tim Lemke's report in The Washington Times: "This is a terrible thing for fans," said Charles Warner, a former radio station executive and journalism professor at the University of Missouri, who now serves as an industry consultant. "When a team owns a radio station, I don't think fans' needs are served at all. It's a terrible idea." (An industry consultant, meantime, said other teams should move in that direction.)

From Farhi's Post article: Bruce Gilbert, Red Zebra's chief executive, said that his company would encourage, "within reason," a freewheeling exchange of opinions. "You can't be in the sports radio business without talented talk-show hosts like Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin," said Gilbert, a former ESPN Radio executive, in an interview. "You hire people to be opinionated. You want them to be opinionated. If we didn't, why would we buy these stations?"...

Also, Gilbert said "it would be disingenuous" to suggest that Snyder's overlapping businesses "wouldn't collide at some point."

From Deuce of Davenport: Sadly for 980, it was and currently is the only sports talk radio station in town that is always critical of all of the sports teams in the nations capital, including the Redskins, and now that freedom to be critical of everything without big brother's corporate oversight might be lost.

By  |  09:55 AM ET, 06/05/2008

Categories:  Media

 
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