TK: No Radio Show Until MNF Gig Ends
In past Monday Night Football offseasons, Tony Kornheiser has returned from the football booth to his radio hole, offering the following morning drive choices for the typical Bog reader: The Junkies, Colin Cowherd or TK and Friends. Well, no more. Appearing on this week's On the DL Podcast (100th episode!), Kornheiser said he wouldn't resume his radio career until he steps away from the football booth.
"I mean, I don't want to yo-yo," he told host and WashingtonPost.com contributor Dan Levy. "I don't want to do it five months on and six months off, or five months on and seven months off, whatever the math is....I'm not gonna do radio until I can do radio forever. There is no radio as long as I'm doing football, though I'll happily be a guest on anybody else's radio show whenever they want me....It's tiring. I mean, I loved it, I love radio, but to do it for a while and then to stop becomes more painful than not doing it at all."
Last time Kornheiser was on the local radio dial, it was on what used to be Washington Post Radio, an enterprise that has crashed entirely. If Tony did return to the air, his old haunt at ESPN 980 would seem to be a natural landing spot, but that would mean some degree of being on the Redskins' payroll. And even though he spent years using his radio show to try to get free stuff, that would cross his ethics line.
"My sense of that is that if I'm doing Monday Night Football, I can't take a paycheck from Dan Snyder," Kornheiser told Levy. "No, I can't do that. Now, [Snyder] will say--we haven't had any discussions, but in the past he's always said--that that's ridiculous, and 'It's not my money, it's some corporation's money, you're not being paid by me and you're not gonna be censored on any level.' And I understand that.
"But it also seems to me troubling that if his company owns the radio station and I'm employed ostensibly doing commentary on the National Football League teams, how can it not be a conflict?"
As for the MNF broadcast itself, Tony said he has "steeled" himself from reading any commentary, good or bad; that he doesn't want to know, and he sort of declined to answer a question about whether he was getting better in the booth.
"I think the broadcast is better this year than last year, I think it was better last year than the year before, so i think it's an upward arc," he said. "Am I better? I don't know if I'm any better. It still doesn't play to what I do best....I think the broadcast is better, so I'm a part of that. At worst, I'm just holding it back from being REALLY good, and at best I'm part of something that gets better all the time. Will that make bloggy news?"
Debatable, I guess. But his absence from radio waves this spring will be noticed, and he'll be missed.
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