Early Briefing: Snyder Buys WTEM
*Redskins owner Dan Snyder reached a deal to buy three local AM radio stations from Clear Channel Communications, including the area's leading sports-talk station, WTEM. The price wasn't disclosed. Snyder's purchase of WTEM (980), WTNT (570) and WWRC (1260) means his Red Zebra Broadcasting arm will own six stations in the area.
The agreement gives the owner of the most popular and closely followed sports franchise in the region ownership of the biggest broadcast outlets for commentary about his team.
*Silver Spring's Discovery Communications can now proceed with its plan to become a publicly traded company, following an agreement Wednesday by its parent company and a major stakeholder, the company reported.
The announcement came the day that Discovery launched its Planet Green multimedia effort, the first new channel launched under chief executive David Zaslav, who took over Discovery in January 2007. Discovery switched its Discovery Home cable channel to Planet Green Wednesday night, with programming aimed at eco-living.
Planet Green is complemented by a new Web site that folds into TreeHugger.com, which Discovery bought last year.
Liberty Media, which controls Discovery's parent, and shareholder Advance/Newhouse Communications said they will combine their stakes in Discovery, allowing it to go public as a stand-alone company. The move will give Discovery access to public money but place it under Wall Street's quarterly scrutiny for the first time.
*Columnist Marc Fisher writes about Falkland Chase, saying that as gas prices rise, so does the imperative to live closer to work and use transit and walk to shop. So why aren't people cheering a proposal to replace the complex with a denser development?
He writes: "Rather than embrace the addition of much-needed housing to the new downtown that Montgomery County taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to develop, the county planning board has taken the first step toward declaring the Falkland Chase apartments a historic property that could not be demolished. The board's final vote on the historic designation is set for next week."
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