City Desk

This Morning: LL on WTOP

DENVER—Tune in to WTOP radio this morning at 10 a.m. to hear LL run down the local side of the Democratic National Convention on the Politics Program With Mark Plotkin.

Plotkin was kind enough to invite LL on after not being able to personally attend his first Democratic convention since 1968. Here's the item from LL's column this week about Plotkin's sorely missed absence:

Some familiar faces are absent from the D.C. crowd this year. Not among the politicos, mind you—Councilmember Marion Barry, for one, was holding court in the Crowne Plaza lobby bar as LL was typing out this column Monday evening.

Nope, two giants of local media—WTOP’s Mark Plotkin and WRC-TV’s Tom Sherwood—were left to take it all in from home. (Covering the locals has fallen to LL, the Post’s David Nakamura; DCist’s Sommer Mathis; Leon Harris, Gordon Peterson, and Rebecca Cooper from WJLA-TV; and Patrick McGrath from WTTG-TV.)

Both sidelined reporters expressed their disappointment to LL.

Sherwood says he found out he wouldn’t be making the trip only last week, and says the decision was made for “budget reasons.” He hasn’t missed a convention, Democratic or Republican, since 1988, and he attended the ’84 Democratic affair to boot. Asked what he’ll miss most, Sherwood said, “This sounds corny, but showing the local people in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia a part of history.”

Asked about the budget situation, Sherwood’s boss, VP of news Camille Edwards, says, “I don’t really discuss things like that,” though she admitted that budgets are tightening across the local news industry. Channel 4, she says, has plenty of NBC network resources to draw on to cover the local delegation.

Yeah right: LL can’t wait for that Brian Williams one-on-one with Harry Thomas Jr.

Plotkin declined to blame the decision not to send him or any other in-house WTOP reporter to what he calls “the quadrennial highlight of my life” on any budget pressures, saying station owner Bonneville International has “plenty of resources.”

“Conventions have been a part of my life,” he says, having attended every Democratic confab since 1968—that’s 10 of ’em—plus four Republican shindigs to boot. The listeners aren’t going to go without in this age of corporate synergy, he says, with reports coming into the powerhouse news station from reporters who get their paychecks from CNN, CBS, and Politico.

“Maybe the benefit of all this is there’s less Plotkin to listen to,” he says. “Less Plotkin is more!”

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