XM Radio and GW talk politics

The University and XM Satellite Radio are teaming up to produce a nationally broadcasted program about the 2008 presidential election that will feature GW professors and students.

The first edition of “Politics: From the Nation’s Capital” aired on Sept. 24 and will continue to air weekly for the next 18 months on XM Satellite Radio’s new “P.O.T.U.S. ’08” channel. The channel, which stands for “President of the United States,” broadcasts 24-hour coverage of the election and includes everything from raw footage of presidential debates to interviews with expert analysts.

Kevin Straley, senior vice president of news, talk and sports programming at XM Satellite Radio, called the first show a success for both XM and the University.

“GW has produced a wide variety of programming heard by XM listeners across the country, and we’re very pleased to be working together on this latest project,” Straley said.

Michael Freedman, vice president for Communications, said XM agreed to broadcast the show based on the success of other GW-produced shows because of the University’s reputation as “the most politically active campus in America.”

“It also provides some very nice positive visibility for GW on a national basis and spotlights our faculty experts and students,” Freedman said.

The program will include results from the GW Battleground Polls, a national, bipartisan survey of potential voters created by the Graduate School of Political Management in 1991.

The show’s host, Sam Litzinger, has worked for CBS, NBC, the Associated Press, National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corporation over his 30-year career. He said the program will vary in format each week but would mix historical clips, material from the campaign trail and interviews with members of the GW community.

“We are trying to tap into the wealth of knowledge on the GW campus especially the GW graduate political management program,” Litzinger said. “They have professionals who have worked – and are still working – in the field.”

Litzinger said he hoped to feature GW professors and students debating “real issues” and has invited members of the College Democrats, Republicans, Independents and the Green Party to upcoming shows.

All material will be related to the 2008 presidential campaign but will also include coverage of political events that take place between now and the 2009 inauguration. The show also plans to feature programs related to the presidency such as the history of The White House and some of the most interesting and unusual races for the office, Freedman said.

XM’s 8.2 million subscribers will be able to hear the hour-long show on Channel 130. For non-subscribers, the show will also be aired on 3WT (1500 AM and 107.7 FM) in the District and on WRGW, GW’s Web-based student radio station. Producers also hope to make the show available on iTunes.

In addition to the “Politics: From the Nation’s Capital,” GW produces XM Radio shows “GW Presents American Jazz” and “GW Presents Beyond Category” hosted by Dick Golden, special assistant for Broadcast Operations and University Events.

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