City Paper is not for tourists
It was a tale of two broadcasts on DC airwaves over the weekend. One organic, one propagandic.
Sportstalker WJFK launched a new Nats’ postgame show yesterday, following Stephen Strasburg’s second start and win. The station doesn’t air Nats’ games — WFED 1500-AM is the team’s flagship and already has its own postgame program. So the midseason debut is yet more evidence of the momentousness of Strasburg’s arrival.
The WJFK show is being billed by the station as the “Unofficial Nats Postgame Show.” WJFK positioned itself as a similarly unsanctioned news source during the last football season. The guerillaesque pitch for football hit home, since WJFK was new and going head-to-head with WTEM, the station owned by Redskins owner and serial infomercial producer Dan Snyder. So “unofficial” was a code word for “not bought and paid for.”
WJFK hosts Scott Jackson and Grant Paulsen constantly gave out the phone number, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of callers when I was listening. So the airwaves were filled with Paulsen’s rundown of the future Nats role players now playing in the minors. The dude knows a lot of names and numbers. But as much as we really like Strasburg around here, we ain’t that much of a baseball town yet.
But we ain’t the Redskins-only town we once were, either. The market’s changing. The Nats already have Strasburg and then Bryce Harper coming up behind him. Ted Leonsis announced last week that every Caps game is already sold out for next season. His new team, the Wizards, have the top pick, and they can now sell fans on Leonsis AND John Wall.
Yet the biggest Redskins story, heading into the first mandatory minicamp next weekend, remains Albert Haynesworth’s whereabouts. We’re tired of that. Just to keep his team in the conversation like it was in the days BJ (Before Jeezus), Snyder has to buy airtime.
So Snyder did just that on WRC-4 on Saturday, using his “broadcast partner” to show “Igniting the Burgundy and Gold,” a silly piece of fluff that claimed to be a review of the Skins 2009 season.
Stalin could learn a few things about purging history from whoever put this docu-fluff together.
Again, this was billed as a retrospective of the last season. Yet there was no mention or shots of deposed coach Jim Zorn, but plenty of Mike Shanahan, who wasn’t hired until after the Skins had lost their 12th game. There was no mention of Vinny Cerrato, either. But lots and lots of his replacement, Bruce Allen.
Oh, the losing got left on the cutting room floor in “Igniting the Burgundy and Gold,” too.
But even with the new faces, Snyder is struggling like never before to move tickets. How else to explain the fan reports saying Snyder has sent new GM Bruce Allen to oversee meet and greets at marketing gatherings at FedExField these days. Apparently, the GM works the room before Snyder’s salespeople swarm in and try to sell off premium seats. This even with the new scoreboard eliminating whole sections of seats on the Joe Gibbs Level of the stadium.
Wonder if Allen knew he was also going to be Snyder’s official TupperWare party host when he took the job here.