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New WPL Host: Ivan Carter

Just a week before Washington Post Live celebrates its two-year anniversary on Comcast SportsNet comes word that a new man will take over the host's seat. Who is it? None other than The Post's Wizards beat writer Ivan Carter, who has twice filled in for Russ Thaler as guest host in recent weeks.

After following around the history-chasing Wizards for two more weeks, Ivan--who joined The Post in Jan., 2005--will leave print and join CSN full-time. Michael Lee will fill in on the Wizards beat through the end of this season, and no decision has been made about who will cover the team next year.

(Some of the details on the move are not yet official, and a CSN spokesperson declined to comment.)

Not that I ever really want to interview my co-workers, but we're not gonna be co-workers much longer, so I just asked Ivan whether he had always wanted to enter the TV biz.

"I always thought it was a possibility," he said. (Yes, I just quoted Ivan Carter.) "You see a lot of that cross-over, and that's kind of where the media business is going, people doing multiple things. I've always thought of myself as a reporter, and I've always thought of myself as a newspaper guy, but I've always looked at TV and thought that was something I could do. Why not?"

I will say that Ivan, despite being 33 years old, is in some ways as traditional as it gets at The Post, and has always taken extreme pride in working for print. Unlike some of us, who regularly make fun of the medium.

"Call me old-school, but I still like getting up in the morning and seeing my name on a story," he said. "I like cracking that paper open and seeing your byline, you know? You're asking hard questions, getting people on the record. It's substantive, and it's in print, not just floating around and then gone. I still like reading newspapers; I don't like reading stuff online. I'm a dinosaur that way. I'll go put 50 or 75 cents into a box to get a physical paper before I'll log on to read a blog. I still love newspapers, but I'm kind of worried I'm the last person like that."

Let's hope not. As for the TV side of things, Ivan said he wants WPL to be "unique and vibrant and fun," offering something for D.C. sports fans they can't get from either ESPN or the local networks, and that he'll learn as he goes. And not to say anything bad about my fellow Posties, but maybe some of us have faces that were made for print, if you get me.

"I think we all knew that Ivan was destined for a career in television," said Post sports editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, who hired Ivan as an intern in Minnesota and later brought him from the Kansas City Star to The Post. "Ivan is a natural on television, and we're not surprised that the folks who run CSN would see the same thing."

(Note: No, I'm not quite sure why anyone would want to leave print at this point. We're thriving. I'm telling you, things have never been better.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 13, 2009; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Wizards  
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Posted by: mkremnitzer0 | March 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Russ?

Posted by: edr04 | March 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

what happened to the hold host? (russ thaler?)

Posted by: gregegeg | March 13, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This isn't a good thing.

I must echo the others, what happened to Russ?

Posted by: sitruc | March 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about this. Russ does a good job. If anything Chris Miller should do it.

Posted by: visionof75 | March 13, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

russ thaler sux, chris miller is an ex-cavalier lover. I'll take Ivan carter over those two unentertaining bobble heads.

Posted by: BurgwithaU | March 13, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing this means that Carter fave Eddie Jordan will be on the show as a guest five days a week.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | March 13, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

bigups Ivan!

Posted by: 3tripleiii | March 13, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

oh boy, can't wait for the CSN response to this...

Posted by: littles_ | March 13, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What is this CSN or Comcast SportsNet?

I only get Comcast SportsyNet.

Posted by: kolbkl | March 13, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Russ was the best thing this town had in terms of sports. I guess we are in for a bunch of basketball and redskins chat, as if we didn't have enough of that crap.

Posted by: opita1 | March 13, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

opita1: I've seen Ivan on WPL talking about how he is a hockey fan--I think he was even shown on TV recently attending a Caps game at Verizon--so I'm sure there will at least be some hockey talk with him as host.

Posted by: TheFingerman | March 13, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg: how the hell could you write this story WITHOUT SAYING WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THALER? BS. By the way, I had the misfortune to stumble across WPL one of the times Carter was hosting. He sucks. This is a sure sign that COMCAST Sportsnet is seeking to fade the show out.

Posted by: poguesmahone | March 14, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I dont think I've watched WPL since Blog Show ended.

Posted by: metatext | March 14, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

TheFingerman, I don't doubt Ivan Carter will continue to cover the Caps, but I think a lot of that has to do with their recent success and the fans paying attention. I definitely agree with opita1, but was too lazy to elaborate in my comment earlier. Russ Thaler is one of the best things local sports has going for it. Above everything, Russ appreciates all sports. He also has a good understanding of the local sports landscape. Therefore, he understands the fans and what they want and expect along with what they don't like. One of my biggest problems with coverage of sports in this area is that it is Redskins first and foremost and the remaining time is filled with NBA and some NHL and MLB. Most sports are just filler after the Redskins. High school rarely gets anything,(WP high school basketball rankings are a joke), college leaves a lot to be desired(unless you're a Maryland fan at times), and the other professional teams? I've pretty much forgotten about the Mystics. DC United coverage is hit or miss. CSN promises coverage every year, but they rarely take it seriously outside of great game broadcasts(one can only hope they aren't delayed for Skins pre-game coverage). It's popular to say this isn't a good sports town, but most locals probably don't even know what this area has. Russ knows some of what this area has to offer. He's a tennis fan. He appreciates DC United, the game of soccer, and the support of the team. He has even called games. There was an ocassion last year when Russ was not hosting WPL and Mayor Fenty was on. Fenty went out of his way to mention every sport in the area including WTT and marathons, but he didn't say a thing about DC United while he continued to talk about bringing the Redskins back to DC. Russ would have called him on that and at least asked about that stadium situation. Should our expectations of local coverage drop even more? What is going to happen to Russ Thaler?

Mr. Carter is a good writer and does a good job with his coverage of the Wizards and is very capable of covering the Phonebooth. My biggest problem with his writings and television appearances has always been why I like Russ. Carter lacks a good understanding of the local people. Plus, Mr. Carter was horrible the times I've seen him fill in as host....

Posted by: sitruc | March 14, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

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