City Paper is not for tourists
Horrendous news for folks who loved watching Lindsay Czarniak dress up in licensed Washington Redskins gear while delivering, um, journalism about the football team: WRC’s news readers aren’t working for Dan Snyder this preseason.
At least that’s what an official for the NBC affiliate tells me.
WRC’s news department has a long track record, stretching all the way back to Dan Snyder‘s earliest days as Redskins owner, of working for the team while also reporting on it.
The station’s great and dead George Michael got the ball rolling by doing play-by-play for the exhibition games produced by the Redskins Broadcast Network, which is owned by Snyder, shortly after Snyder bought the team. Michael also served as emcee for the Snyder-produced coaches shows aired by the station. Michael, til the day he retired, forced his underlings to work on Snyder-produced infomercials about the team that ran on WRC.
Such a relationship wouldn’t be tolerated in any other area of news reportage, but WRC management ignored reality and honesty by denying year after year there was any conflict of interest. Things reached the point of ridiculousness last year, when Czarniak, the most watchable sportscaster in the marketplace by a few 300-yard-shuttle runs, delivered reports about the Redskins on WRC’s news broadcasts while wearing golf shirts with Redskins logos.
Nothing wrong with that, said WRC management.
But Czarniak’s conflicted costume-wearing days appear to be over. After Czarniak and fellow WRC staffer/Redskins employee Dan Hellie didn’t appear on the team’s preseason game broadcasts, I asked station management if the news people were still working for Snyder’s Redskins Broadcast Network.
“We did our own pre-season and post-season broadcasts just for our air,” said the WRC official. “That was the extent of [Czarniak and Hellie’s] involvement.” No reason was given for the change.
But….”post-season broadcasts,” eh? The Redskins?
Good work if you can get it!