Less then two months after Lindsay Czarniak left her job as co-sports anchor at WRC, her sort-of counterpart at WUSA — Brett Haber — also announced he was changing jobs. Guess the big fish/small pond thing isn’t as attractive as it used to be.
The station is “doing good things and will succeed, but times are changing and sports within local news not as relevant as it once was,” Haber wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon. “Don't want to stagnate, need to evolve, blessed to have opportunities and a blank canvas to paint. Will stay a while. End date pending.”
Haber was the station’s sports director and primary sports anchor for seven years, and won the local Emmy as Washington’s outstanding sports anchor five years in a row. He previously worked at WCBS in New York and WTTG in D.C., and as a host on ESPN’s SportsCenter. He also has done increasing play-by-play tennis work for the Tennis Channel and other networks — he’s doing the Legg Mason for that channel this week — and will also host and emcee a 12-city tour called “The Champions Series” this fall.
I talked to Haber on Monday, and he said that his desire to transition into other sorts of sports broadcasting, combined with his desire to get a more livable work schedule, made this “a reasonably easy decision.” I also asked if he thought the job of network sports anchor was less prestigious than it used to be.
“I don’t know about prestige or anything like that; I think that if you compare it to George [Michael] and Glenn [Brenner] 25 years ago, the relevance of the nightly local sportscast is a lot different. Back then, when Glenn told you the Bullets score at 11 at night, for most people that was the first time they were hearing it. That’s what made them stars. That’s what made them pillars of the community. If you care about the Wizards score now, by the time 11 o’clock rolls around, you’ve seen it on your computer screen, you’ve seen it on your phone, you’ve seen it everywhere. And that means we’ve had to reinvent what we do to some extent.”
In a press release, Haber said he wants a schedule more conducive to raising his two young children.
“It was particularly difficult to walk away from such a talented group of colleagues who are finally reaping the rewards for their hard work and dedication,” he said in the release, “but after 20 years behind the anchor desk, I’ve decided it’s time to take the leap and concentrate on other areas of broadcasting about which I’ve become passionate in recent years.”