Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 12/ 7/2010

ESPN 980 expands Caps coverage

By Dan Steinberg

For years, Caps fans complained that the local media gave short shrift to hockey coverage. Much of this anger was directed at two outlets: The Post, and ESPN 980. (See here, for example.) And much of it, for a variety of reasons, has seemed muted in recent years.

The Post has offered more coverage online. CSN Washington, 106.7 The Fan and their Web sites offered more radio and television options. Local blogs and podcasts sprouted up to fill many of the gaps in coverage. And the Caps started pumping out a tremendous amount of content -- words, videos, podcasts -- on their own Web site.

Still, can't imagine any Caps would ever complain about a public pledge to expand Caps coverage, and so it is that I bring you this publicly posted message from Chuck Sapienza, ESPN 980's programming director.

Caps Nation,

My name is Chuck Sapienza and I am the new Director of Programming for ESPN980. When I took over this position in late August, one thing became evidentially clear: my station has a credibility problem with you, the fans of the Washington Capitals. Historically speaking, I am sure part of the issue stems from a lack of coverage for the Caps on my station. I am writing you today to let you know of my commitment to Caps Nation to expand coverage on ESPN980. As part of this commitment, I am pleased to announce that we have added 2 Caps insiders to ESPN980 that will provide exclusive radio coverage 6 days a week.

The first is Mike Vogel. Voges will add ESPN980 to his many duties. As you know, he is the senior writer for WASHINGTONCAPS.Com. He can also be read at DUMPANDCHASE.com and is a regular on CAPS365. The second is former Cap Alan May. May picked up over 1000 PIMs during his 5+ seasons in Washington and is the lead analyst for Comcast Sports Net. Vogel will be on Tuesdays @ 4:25 pm; Wednesdays @ 1:20 pm; Fridays @ 3:30 pm and Saturdays @ 11 am. May will be heard Mondays @ 12:50 pm; Tuesdays @ 2:30 pm and Thursdays @ 4:45 pm.

I know your first question is "Why did it take so long into the season to do this?" I have been working on this since training camp; it just took time to work out all of the details. I wanted to kick off the season with this duo, but organizing this takes time to come together. I am sure you have other questions about ESPN980 and its coverage of Caps Hockey and you can always e-mail me at chucksapienza980@gmail.com.

I hope this step shows that we are committed. This is just the 1st step in what I promise will be expanded coverage of your favorite team. Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions and as Goat yells "LETS GO CAPS!!!"

Now, I haven't been in this market for as long as many of you, but this strikes me as a fairly big change from 980's established image among Caps fans.

By Dan Steinberg  | December 7, 2010; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Football Insider Live: Giants recap, Bucs preview and what to look for the the remaining games
Next: Atlantic 11 Week 3: Georgetown. Still.

Comments

Snyder's just trying to take away attention from the circus that is Redskins Park. having said that, less bad news on Skins and more coverage of Caps is a win-win for everyone.

Alan May is awesome on Conmcast...expect noting less on 980.

Posted by: HogsHaven | December 7, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Great except that he doesn't mention that the station still does not have a Caps beat reporter yet the lowly Wizards do.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 7, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

4:25, 1:20, 2:30...3:30. Yeah...that's not really going to work for me. But appreciate the effort. If I happen to be in the car at 11 am on a Saturday I'll try and remember to tune in.

Kind of smells like 106.7 burying Mike Green's segment at 4:30 or whenever it is - but worse.

Posted by: tha_prophet | December 7, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Great except that he doesn't mention that the station still does not have a Caps beat reporter yet the lowly Wizards do.

Posted by: MKadyman | December 7, 2010 11:51 AM

Typical Caps fan - complain and denigrate another DC team at the same time

Posted by: Kev29 | December 7, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The problem that several of the major personalities on the station (*ahem*, Andy Polin, Tony K. ) show nothing but disdain for hockey in general and the Capitals in particular continues, however.

Posted by: kingbonehead | December 7, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Basically, they can do whatever they want and it will take awhile for me to warm up to them. Czabin is all Redskins all of the time and doesn't really dig the Caps. It was short sighted of them to get rid of Al Koken because he's a hockey guy and he does research. Basically once they got rid of Koken I stopped listening to John Thompson show and I'm waiting for someone to move forward.

The other thing is that they pretty much never take calls on anything but the 'Skins.

Posted by: souldrummer | December 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I remember the day Koken got the axe at 980 and Coach Thompson was very vocal with his displeasure. If you were listening on the internet, it was much more colorful.

Posted by: rdpinva | December 7, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

After complaining for years about the lack of coverage of the Caps from certain media outlets in this town, this is a very good thing (even if, as someone points out, none of the segments are prime radio listening time during rush hour.) And it's good that instead of the station just saying, "Hey, we're going to interview a Caps player for five minutes!" (which I hope they continue to do), they're bringing on two guys who can actually analyze how the team is playing and talk about its strengths and weaknesses.

I'm most interested in how Czaban and Pollin are going to prepare themselves to talk about hockey, since they don't seem to pay much attention to the team. I listened to them interview John Carlson a few weeks ago, and it was painfully obvious how little they knew about the team and how it was playing. At least at the earlier hours, Loverro is knowledgeable about hockey and I'd say Rick "Doc" Walker follows the Caps more closely than the rush hour hosts.

Posted by: TheFingerman | December 7, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Good news. Something tells me that if the Skins were 8-3, that this would not have come about until February.

Czaban has some hockey knowledge, but it's a bit dated. And Polin has pretty open hostility towards the sport. Alan May will be great and hopefully get some time prime air time once the NFL season is over.

Posted by: dcsportsfan1 | December 7, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Man, DC sports fans are never satisfied.

Posted by: RoachVA141 | December 7, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

It's a start

Posted by: GFisher1 | December 7, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

When did we get a hockey team???

The sport of hockey is not in the DNA of the majority of sports fans in the dc area. So, when the caps go out early in the playoffs again, no one loses sleep. and i know it's the only winning team in town, blah blah blah, but eh, i'd rather catch the nerds play kick ball on the mall.

Posted by: boricuabopper | December 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

The media is starting to do its part. Now the team has to do its part.

Posted by: CF11555 | December 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

What do the On Frozen Bozos have to say about this olive branch?

Posted by: CapsNut | December 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

This is welcome news. I am sure the 2 negative nannies Pollin & Czabe are not happy. The only reason I listen to them is because of that dope Dukes on the other sports station. Getting Alan May is a great add. I hope he smacks Czabe in the mouth if Czabe starts any of his cynical, sarcastic, comments about the only winner in town.

Posted by: dph60 | December 7, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Dan, your blog post is right on target.
This is good news, thanks Chuck Sepienza, for your statement & announcement.
I've listened to 980 since it's inception, and when Al Koken left, recently, 980 had no one that liked to talk hockey. In fact, guys that I like for Skins,Terps & Wiz coverage, take shots at hockey, (Polin, bball-Sheehan, and even a quasi-skater; Czaben) so maybe this disdain can stop and I won't have to change the dial in disgust.

Posted by: Hattrik | December 7, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I agree that it is a good thing. Sapienza is to be commended. I also hope that Pollin, Sheehan and Czaban stop taking cheap shots at the sport. Then ESPN 980 can be taken seriously as a sports station.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 7, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

@boricuabopper; you really need to come into the 21st century. In case you hadn't noticed, the Redskins are a disaster, we have a baseball team now, the Caps have been the hottest team in town now for a couple of seasons and even the Wiz are on the upswing since Abe Pollin died. You need to get your head out of the 1980's.

Posted by: poguesmahone | December 7, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

When did we get a hockey team???

The sport of hockey is not in the DNA of the majority of sports fans in the dc area. So, when the caps go out early in the playoffs again, no one loses sleep. and i know it's the only winning team in town, blah blah blah, but eh, i'd rather catch the nerds play kick ball on the mall.


Posted by: boricuabopper | December 7, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

But, yet, you took the time to read the post, then comment on it. BRILLIANT!

Posted by: stwasm | December 8, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Couldn't help noticing that none of the seven scheduled interview slots for Vogel and May fall within Tony Kornheiser's 10 to noon timeslot - apparently he's the Marty Schottenheimer of ESPN 980 in the sense of being allowed total control of the content of his show without any input or influence from management.

Posted by: Mike_In_Fairfax | December 8, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company