If there is one thing that Washingtonian’s have learned in Dan Snyder’s 15+ years as owner of the city’s professional football franchise, it is to not cross the enigmatic owner in any way. Or else.
The latest report of revenge comes from a killed radio show on Snyder’s own ESPN 980. Jason Reid a former Washington Post beat writer, covering the Washington Redskins, was all set to begin his new position as the radio host of the ESPN 980’s newly minted morning show “The Man Cave.” Or at least that was suppose to happen until Snyder got wind of what was going down on his radio station. The show which was scheduled to begin air on Monday morning and was to replace the nationally syndicated “Mike and Mike” in the morning for ESPN 980 listeners, was somehow put on ice, without any notice whatsoever to the listeners.
“Jason Reid has been disliked by [team] management and Dan for years, ever since he was a beat reporter,” says a former Snyder employee familiar with the situation after talking with ex-colleagues. “For the radio guys to go down that path and try to hire him is bold, no question. But, ultimately, Dan wasn’t in the loop on that hiring, and once he got looped in, he made them correct it. For anybody to speculate there was any strategic evil play here, they’re kidding themselves. They’re not strategic with anything at Redskins Park. The evil they do is always reactionary. What happened is, this finally filtered up to Dan, and whenever something like that happened he would blow his stack and say, ‘Correct this or you’re fired!’ He never cares about the trail of bodies left along the way.”
E-mail from Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean to staffers says that ESPN 980 VP of Programming Chuck Sapienza has resigned
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) March 16, 2015
The above tweet from Washington Post columnist Dan Steinberg is a confirmation that the trickle down effect does not stop with Jason Reid and the radio show. The man who hired Reid, ESPN 980 VP of Programming Chuck Sapienza resigned amid all of the controversy. This follows a pattern of Dan Snyder using his checkbook to reward & punish people who cover the Redskins. Just like Snyder has allegedly used his money to make people go away, he used some of that money to buy the loyalty and services of then Washington Post columnist Mike Wilbon by putting him on the team-owned Redskins Broadcast Network in the summer of 1999.
Longtime WTEM host Steve Czaban, for example, had a reputation as one of the more honest appraisers of the Redskins in D.C. media—meaning he did a whole lot of bashing—before Snyder took over the station. Czaban lost his job hosting The Joe Gibbs Show on WTEM after the 2004 season, when Gibbs was perturbed by the lack of reverence. (During one Czaban broadcast a laugh track was inserted into a package from a Gibbs press conference.)
In 2006, team management got Czaban suspended by its “media partner” Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, where he moonlighted on fall weekends for Redskins postgame TV shows.
This is not the first time that Snyder has tried to pull this Gestapo style control of the media surrounding his Redskins, and it most certainly won’t be the last.
@dcsportsbog Dan, well the Junkies must not listen to ‘Inside The Locker Room’. Tell them to try that drama elsewhere. #BULLCRAP
— Brian Mitchell (@BmitchliveCSN) March 16, 2015