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Kornheiser on His Radio Future, and Gilbert Arenas

Tony Kornheiser appeared on The Locker Room with Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 today, though he kept insisting that he was not, in fact, in a locker room. Specifics aside, it was a 17-minute reminder that there is no one in Washington D.C. who can talk better about sports on the radio. Would that he were podcasting for this here site.

Anyhow, the specifics were plenty fun as well. Let's divide it into three parts; a fourth part included his comments about Monday Night Football, how the show had improved, how they had the best football broadcast on any TV network last year, and how he'll miss it. Read about that on The Sporting Blog.

His D.C. Radio Future

Kornheiser said when people stop him on the street, they always say two things: they loved him on MNF, and they miss his radio show and want to know when he's coming back on the D.C. dial.

"And I thought, 'Gee, I don't think we would have had 0.0 ratings if this many people actually listened,' but it was great to hear," Kornheiser said, concluding that "I'm open for business."

Aren't we all. Of course, my business is free-lancing blog posts to The Sporting Blog for one-seventh the amount of money I'd get for three segments on Washington Post Live, but whatever. Someone just sign him up already.

"A lot of business people want me to do syndicated national radio," he said. "I don't care about syndicated national radio. If they want to syndicate a local show that I do, I'm happy to do it, but I want to local radio. I want to get on the air and talk about something that happened on a particular intersection in town, that 100 percent of the people who are listening to me by choice, they know where it is. That's what I want to do. So all I need are a couple of radio stations, three or four radio stations to step up and say we'd like you to work for this, because again, can't stress this enough, I am open for business."

How many business people are interested?

"Not enough yet," he said. "But maybe in an hour. Maybe in an hour."

Gilbert Arenas

Another audio file, another rant about Gilbert Arenas. (First rant here.) On this, he and I will never come together. He's insane if he thinks Eddie Jordan made the Wizards relevant. Gilbert Arenas made the Wizards relevant. Period. Hard return. And Gilbert's knee explosion made them irrelevant again.

"I'd like to see them trade Gilbert Arenas," Kornheiser said. "They're not gonna do that, are they? Well, the team has been torpedoed, it's just been totally torpedoed. I mean, firing Eddie Jordan was ridiculous, it made no sense. I mean, you have money locked up in this great player, except he doesn't actually play. You know, this is like having a painting and putting it in a closet so no one can see it. You buy a Renoir and nobody can see it, it's in the shop. It's getting a new frame. So I'm one of those few people who wonders, what have they done the last three years, what have they done to get better? And I don't really see them getting better over the last three years."

Then he said that they won't draft a point guard on Thursday because they have Gilbert. Well, he's been busy lately, we understand.

On The Washington Post

I always figure if I don't post a transcript of my ex-co-worker mouthing off about my employer, someone else will, and there's no reason for us to forfeit that traffic, so here goes.

Monday Night Football, he said, "ended much better...than my tenure at The Washington Post, which haunts me to this moment, this very moment, which upsets me and irritates me and saddens me greatly."

So Sheehan later asked him what he meant.

"Because I was dumped," Kornheiser said. "I mean, I was just dumped from The Post. You know, I took the buyout when I did, and then I had a contract, and I was informed my contract would not be renewed....I had a contract to do Web site stuff; I did what the contract was, and the contract wasn't gonna be renewed.

"And my own feeling--and I'll never work there again after I say this out loud, and that's fine, because I'm a big boy and I know what I'm talking about--my feeling was that if Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser are not a brand for The Washington Post, what is? What exactly is? I mean, are we not big enough together? Are we not liked enough together? Are we not familiar enough together that people don't want to watch us on this Web site, which is what this Web site does, it provides video for people.

"I found that hard to believe. Not only did I found that hard to believe, I find that hard to believe. And then there has been some talk about me writing....I don't really want to write a weekly column. I wanted to do something else, I guess for the new part of media, whatever the new part of media is. So that's what I wanted to do. And who knows what'll happen down the road. I have wonderful memories of that place. All my memories are wonderful except the ending."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 23, 2009; 3:41 PM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Comments

That radio show can't come fast enough..preferably one that allows expletives

Posted by: rmobley12 | June 23, 2009 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"If they want to syndicate a local show that I do, I'm happy to do it, but I want to local radio. I want to get on the air and talk about something that happened on a particular intersection in town, that 100 percent of the people who are listening to me by choice, they know where it is. That's what I want to do."

I hope that's what he does, because I'd listen to that show. But I find this quote fascinating--because it could sort of also explain why the Post didn't renew his contract for that Web video. I stopped watching that thing because they never talked about local stuff--it was just a mini-version of PTI that took place in the Post newsroom. If those guys actually talked about local sports, or even local intersections, instead of spending most of their time on that Web video (had to be about 75 percent) talking about Brett Favre and Tiger Woods and A-Rod and Kobe Bryant maybe I would have watched, and maybe lots of others would to. Strange that Tony doesn't see the connection. (And maybe that's not why it was dropped, but I think it's a decent theory.)

Posted by: TheFingerman | June 23, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

If Tony the K is no longer employed by the Washington Post, why is he still listed on the "columns and blogs" page, particularly since the last time his section was updated was May 2008?

Posted by: greggwiggins | June 23, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Tony Kornheiser fan, I remember reading his columns in the Style section every Tuesday before school and actually laughing. Whenever I hear him now though there is only one thought that comes clearly to my mind...GET OVER YOURSELF. The thing he was doing with Wilbon on the washington post web was stupid. I would rather have gotten drunk with my Jewish grandmother. PTI is only good if you're either drunk or high and have nothing else better to do with your life than sit around watching two aging, bitter old men argue about sports.

Posted by: BMACattack | June 23, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Tony,

Pleeeeese don't take a radio gig for 980 until Danny is forced to get rid of it in bankruptcy.

Posted by: rdpinva | June 23, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I quit watching those segments because i found the woman who hosted them to get in the way. I have nothing against her, but there's a reason why PTI doesn't have a moderator. They don't need one.

Posted by: robatlu | June 23, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Tony inadvertently told too many fundamental truths for Krauthammer and Hiatt to handle...you know, like Froomkin did. Ah well, maybe they can bring in Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol to write weekly sports columns. I can see it now: "Nationals Need More Of The Same In 2010," "Eagles Fans Will Welcome 'Skins As Liberators," "Wizards' Payroll Will Pay For Itself," and "Why Does Leonsis Continue To Destroy Caps Franchise?"

I'm sure the Post's Ombudsman will have a really honest and coherent answer for everything, too.

PS - you should probably just pretend I didn't write this comment, Dan...just move along, move along...nothing to see here...

Posted by: EdTheRed | June 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser was FIRED by ESPN because he sucks. And his radio show sucked too.

Posted by: poguesmahone | June 23, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Okay, so as a WaPo employee, can you shed any light on TK's recollection of his end at the Post? The podcast is an interesting idea, even if WaPo Radio stunk out loud. Why isn't this happening? Why is Kornheiser everywhere but here? Why *isn't* the Post exploiting the fat, orange, and bald brand? I'm taking it that the Erin Andrews video interview was done for nothing -- that is, nothing to her for appearing, and nothing extra to you for being in it. All salary work and a pro bono appearance. Perhaps Kornheiser's price is too high?

I guess most interesting would be to hear if Tony got to keep his phone number at the Post, which it sounded like he really coveted. If they couldn't offer him that, well, he was dumped in a pretty classless manner.

Posted by: WorstSeat | June 23, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Kornheiser may have a bigger ego than Kanye West. Kanye West has a better outlook and better songs about it though.

Posted by: sitruc | June 24, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

So people stop him on the street and tell him they love him. OF COURSE they do. People who DON'T love him ignore him on the street. And since he was really at the Post in name only at the end, he can hardly whine about getting "dumped".

Of course, whining is what he does best.

Such a shame. He used to be so good before his ego started running things.

Posted by: bethesdaguy | June 24, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

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