Report: Redskins Block 106.7 The Fan/D.C. From Covering RG3 Press Conference
July 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM (PT)
The WASHINGTON REDSKINS blocked CBS RADIO Sports WJFK (106.7 THE FAN)/WASHINGTON from airing a press conference live with new quarterback ROBERT GRIFFIN III three minutes before the event was to begin last WEDNESDAY, reports the WASHINGTON POST's DAN STEINBERG in the DC SPORTS BOG blog. STEINBERG reports that the REDSKINS, who are co-owned by DAN SNYDER with their flagship, RED ZEBRA Sports WTEM-A (ESPN980)/WASHINGTON, took the unusual step despite the press conference being live on three local broadcast TV stations, COMCAST SPORTSNET, and the NFL NETWORK; WJFK received an objection from REDSKINS SVP of Communications TONY WYLLIE that threatened to revoke WJFK's credentials if it aired the press conference.
WYLLIE told STEINBERG that the REDSKINS were "protecting our radio partners" by blocking THE FAN from covering the event live, and said that as long as they allowed WJFK to attend (but not air) the conference, the move was allowed by NFL rules. THE FAN's PD CHRIS KINARD noted that the conference was "a huge news event that every outlet in WASHINGTON, D.C. was covering live. It wasn’t just a sports thing; it transcended that. They’re only making him available six times in the preseason — they set it up so that this was a big news event, and then they expect us to not cover it? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”
STEINBERG's conversations with representatives from the other three NFC EAST clubs and the PITTSBURGH STEELERS revealed that all of the other teams routinely allow any accredited media outlet, radio or TV, to cover preseason press conferences, and the WASHINGTON NATIONALS allow COMCAST SPORTSNET, which competes with the team's flagship cable outlet MASN, to cover news conferences live.
KINARD told STEINBERG, “I’ve never heard of it being done before, here or anywhere else ... it’s because they own our competition. They own 980. I think listeners can make up their own minds about the relationship between the radio station and the team, if they’re going to make these kind of decisions about news coverage. I think that calls into question the entire relationship.”