Grant Paulsen joins WJFK mid-day show

(Via @chaddukes) (Via @chaddukes)

Grant Paulsen will join Danny Rouhier as co-host of 106.7 The Fan’s mid-day program, the station announced on Monday. Paulsen will move into the spot recently vacated by Holden Kushner; the program will continue to air from 10-2 on weekdays.

Paulsen’s first day will be next Monday, Jan. 6; the station will soon start the process of replacing him on the Redskins beat.

Paulsen joined the station part-time in the summer of 2009 while still in school at George Mason. He became the Redskins beat reporter in 2010 when Chris Russell left for ESPN 980. Paulsen is well-liked by both hardcore beat writers and players in the locker room; if that wasn’t the case, the whole kick return comic relief bit never would have happened.

“Paulsen’s just as nice as he is driven,” Dave McKenna wrote, after profiling Paulsen for Washington City Paper. “During my few hours talking with him for the story, Paulsen dropped the name of just about every producer and cameraman and receptionist that ever helped him out during his child star days, and continually said what a burden he’s been to his family and friends and friends’ parents and how much he appreciates every car ride to a Redskins game or Orioles game back in his pre-16 years.”

Why was Dave McKenna profiling a radio beat reporter? Because Paulsen, 22 at the time, had already been in the industry for years. Read on.

He was a child prodigy, the sports reporting equivalent of Macaulay Culkin or Danny Bonaduce, growing up before our eyes and ears. His career break came as a third grader, when he so wowed an uncle, Pittsburgh sports-talk host Scott Paulsen, that the elder Paulsen decided to show his little nephew off to a Western Pennsylvania radio audience.

The local paper back home in Virginia’s King George County found out about the local kid doing Pittsburgh broadcasts, and offered the youngster a chance to write up his views on the sports issues of the day. That led to Paulsen being offered a regular spot on WUSA-TV called “Ken and the Kid” doing football picks with Ken Broo, then the sports director of the D.C. CBS affiliate. At 10 years of age, Paulsen was a major market broadcaster.

The Letterman gigs and Super Bowl coverage even led to Paulsen being featured in a Steve Rushin Sports Illustrated column:

Like Brown or LeBron James, Grant has enough game to go straight from high school to the pros. He’s a prodigy with a microphone — Doogie Howser, emcee — who talks shop with Bob Costas and rides buses with Brian Billick. What stands between him and his dream job, calling games on Monday Night Football, is less Al Michaels than Algebra II.

We’ll have more on Paulsen on some day other than the Mike Shanahan one.

 

 

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

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Dan Steinberg · December 29, 2013