It’s a sunny Wednesday indeed. As heard on 3WT and reported by Dan Steinberg, Tony Kornheiser has accepted an early retirement/cost-cutting buyout from the Washington Post.
Tony Kornheiser photograph as originally seen on Extreme Mortman.
Kornheiser, a gifted writer when he wanted to be, more or less (more, actually) abandoned his duties as a sports columnist at the Post nearly a decade ago, to pursue an enlarged if superficial media presence with ESPN and Monday Night Football. He nominally remained a WaPost sports columnist. Certainly he succeeded in broadening his name recognition and well providing for his family. But it’s also fair to question how well served Washington’s sports fans were with the move. Certainly the Post’s editors recognized no conflict.
In the hours and days ahead no doubt we’ll be inundated with bloated bandwidth and belabored broadcast reminiscence related to this media personality’s perceived impact on his community. But he abandoned his community; he was as much a Washington writer this decade as a Washington bureau reporter for the Kansas City Star.
At OFB, we won’t be joining in the lovefest for TK the remainder of this week. Kornheiser didn’t merely consistently give hockey the back of his hand while working here, he actively undermined its presence with his sneering disregard for the game, the local team, and its supporters. For him, there was only one storyline on hockey, one now outdated by decades: the ’80s playoff failures by Bryan Murray’s Caps.
For the past three years, while Washington became home to the planet’s greatest hockey talent — and one of the world’s genuinely most gifted athletes — Tony Kornheiser couldn’t have cared less.
Today, we care a great deal about this buyout news. It necessarily means improved hockey coverage here. Addition by subtraction indeed.
The magnanimous Ted Leonsis never gave up trying to persuade Kornheiser about hockey’s merits and virtues. The owner had him in his box for a playoff game just last month. Details as to how that turned out can be found here.
We ridded our region, mercifully, of another oversalaried, underproducing media personality in George Michael last year. This is a healthy trend we’re seeing by local media: unlarding. Here’s hoping the Post next approaches Michael Wilbon about a buyout.
We’ll chip in.