Jack Doniger returned to the local airwaves recently, this time for WRC instead of WTOP. During the Hanafi Muslim episode, he worked round the clock as an anchorman on WRC's coverage. Yet one can still hear Jake Doniger doing sports of New York for the NBC News and Information Service network.And the two men sure do sound alike.
They should. In both instances, the voice we have been hearing is that of Jacob Lazarus Doniger - Jack to us in Washington, Jake to the listeners along the network. "My father was really in love with biblical names," Doniger explains.
After he left WTOP, Doniger went to New York, where he was renamed "Jake" when he went to work for NBC. In due course, NBC lost its enthusiasm for all-news format, but thought enough of Doniger's work to find a spot him on a New York station and to retain him for weekend sportscasting duties on the network.
Now that Jack is working five days a week at WRC, he must commute to New York on weekends to take care of his network assignment. But that burden will be eased soon. NBC is arranging to have Jack's network "feeds" piped into New York from Washington. "The cold-hearted corporate image certainly doesn't apply to NBC," says Doniger. "They've been very good to me."
How does Jake-Jack feel about returning to Washington? "Great," he says. "This is a wonderful place to be, to work, and to live. We never did give up our home here, and I'm delighted to be back."
I've never meet the man, but as an insatiable listener to newscasts I'm glad to have him back. He's knowledgeable, articulate and, best of all, he sounds alive and interested in what he's saying. The newscaster who merely reads words written on a piece of paper usually leaves me wondering, "If this guy isn't interested in what he's reading, why should I be?"