Former ESPN SportsCenter anchor (and Montgomery County native) Bram Weinstein wrote this week he left the network by choice, he has inquired about job opportunities in the D.C. market in recent weeks, but he is unlikely to return home.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported in April that Weinstein and ESPN had “parted ways,” while suggesting there were monetary issues involved in Weinstein’s departure. Deitsch described Weinstein as “a quality writer and an engaging figure on the air,” adding “he’ll be missed.” Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder similarly wrote that Weinstein was “a very dependable, likable personality” who “had grown into a solid role at the network.”
Since then, there were rumors that Weinstein was a candidate to replace Tim Brant at WJLA. He denied that speculation in an interview with the Montgomery County Sentinel, also telling the paper: “I am not able to discuss my departure from ESPN other than to say it was a fabulous seven years and I decided it was time to go in a different direction. They made an offer [for me] to stay but I was ready for a new adventure.”
In a post on his long-dormant blog, Weinstein wrote this week that he’s been on “a whirlwind free agency tour,” and that he expects to be “back on the air very soon,” but that it is unlikely to be in Washington.
This idea of coming home has been gnawing at me for some time and so, for the sake of settling a lot of rumors about me, I have inquired about possibilities back in Washington DC. Some have been the traditional things you’d automatically think of for a home grown talking head. Others have not. Both paths have involved interesting potentials. Nothing has to this point however panned out. Some of the talks have gotten serious and some have not. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not going into specifics. Maybe I will after I decide exactly what I’ll be doing next but at this point, there’s too many variables to get into here. And, I’m not suggesting there is no chance I’m coming home. It’s possible, just not the likely outcome.
Weinstein wrote that he had “an incredible” stint at ESPN, that he turned down a multi-year offer to stay, and that the decision to leave was based on many factors. He also wrote that he hasn’t miss ESPN, “not for a second,” and that his job search has been interesting, maddening and inspiring, among other things. He will be launching a podcast called “Talking Heads” on the Panoply network next month, and seems likely to land with a national broadcast outlet.
Weinstein, who covered the Redskins in this market for about a decade, joined ESPN in 2008, joking at the time that “no one’s more surprised I got this job than me.” He later teamed with Sara Walsh — another D.C. ex-pat — on “SportsCenter,” the most visible display of the massive wave of Washington broadcasters who migrated north toward Bristol.
(He also taped a “SportsCenter” spot with Stephen Strasburg, giving us the above image.)