Tony Reali leaving PTI, Washington

(Nate Lankford / The Washington Post)
(Nate Lankford / The Washington Post)

If you walk around the Logan Circle area enough on weekday evenings, you’re likely to eventually run into Tony Reali — the host of “Around the Horn” and a “PTI” contributor. (And also into Erik Rydholm, the executive producer of those shows.) It’s always felt like a weird quirk of history that two of ESPN’s most recognizable daily shows are produced right here in D.C., just a few blocks from The Post.

“It’s weird to be in my profession in this city. This is such a political town,” Reali told The Post in 2006. “This is not where you would expect ESPN to have two of its highest rated shows. And the reason we’re here is because of Tony and Mike.”

Well, Reali is now leaving this town — and Kornheiser, and Wilbon — for a more natural destination. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Thursday that the native New Yorker landed a gig as a regular contributor to “Good Morning America,” and will now be hosting “Around the Horn” from New York. Excerpt:

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Reali’s latest extension has given him the role of contributor on corporate sibling ABC’s morning flagship. Reali will move from Washington, D.C., to his native New York later this year, where Around the Horn will get a new Times Square space close to his GMA studio….

One place viewers won’t see Reali any longer is on Around the Horn companion series Pardon the Interruption. His move to New York means that his involvement on the latter series, where he’s served as “Stat Boy” for hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon since 2001, will be coming to an end.

This means no more Washingtonian photo shoots, I suppose, and no more appearances in Verizon Center’s press room, and no more movie screenings in Columbia Heights, and no more joyous encounters with me inside the Yes! Organic Market on 14th Street.

“I’m not like most New Yorkers…I enjoy D.C.,” Reali told The Post in ’06. “I like the whole U Street corridor. The diversity of Adams Morgan and U Street is what drew me to living in the city as opposed to the suburbs. I lived in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and there is a resemblance. The pizza stinks, but outside of that, I’ve enjoyed the food in the city and going out in the city.”

Here’s the ESPN press release.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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