ESPN skips over GW

Despite efforts by GW to land an episode of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” the network has decided against using GW studio space when it visits Washington, D.C., on Labor Day. Instead, the network will broadcast near the U.S. Capitol, spokeswoman Diane Lamb said Monday.

Earlier this summer WTOP radio commentator and GW alumnus Mark Plotkin, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Mayor Anthony Williams blasted the network for failing to include D.C. in its “50 States in 50 Days” tour.

On July 28, after hearing a WTOP radio report that ESPN would reconsider coming to the District, University Vice President for Communications Michael Freedman asked Heather Clapp Date, coordinating producer for the Media and Public Affairs building, to contact ESPN about using GW as a site for the broadcast, he said.

Date e-mailed Norby Williamson, ESPN’s senior vice president and managing editor, and invited ESPN to use the Jack Morton Auditorium studio. GW also contacted Williams’ office to let them know GW was “quite interested” in hosting “SportsCenter.” Freedman said Williamson replied to Date’s e-mail writing ESPN would “keep all options open.”

On Aug. 10, WTOP reported that ESPN would broadcast the D.C. show from the Capitol, but on Monday Freedman said he had not heard from ESPN since Williamson’s e-mail on July 29. ESPN confirmed on Monday that the network will air the Sept. 5 show near the Capitol.

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