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.)
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