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WTOP To Award $30,000 to Local Non-Profits

WTOP announced today that it will sponsor an online contest called “Click for a Cause” which gives D.C. area non-profit organizations the chance to vie for one of three $10,000 grand prizes. Runners-up will each win $5,000 worth of commercials to advertise their organizations on WTOP.

From the press release:

The prizes will be awarded in three categories, based on an organization’s annual expenses – large (over $13.5 million), medium ($3.5 – $13.5 million) and small (up to $3.5 million).  Winners are based on the highest number of votes (likes) received during the contest…

Voting will take place April 21 through 5 pm on Friday April 25.  Voting is accomplished by visiting the Click for a Cause page at wtop.com/clickforacause, and clicking “like” on the charity you wish to vote for.  Listeners must have a Facebook account to participate and people can vote for as many charities as they wish, but only once per charity.

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Obama Says Most Deportations Happen Because Congress Beefed Up Border

Facing questions on his deportation policy while making an appearance this morning on a Spanish-language radio show, “El Bueno, La Mala, y El Feo,” President Obama shifted the blame to Congress.

“Keep in mind that most of these deportations are actually at the border,” Obama said. “So it’s people who are just being stopped.  The reason that the numbers are high is because Congress doubled the number of ICE agents and custom border patrol.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson acknowledged as much earlier this month.

“It’s not because this is something that I think is necessarily a kind thing or a helpful thing for many of these families,” the President added.

Obama also fielded questions about whether Latinos from “mixed status” homes would risk triggering deportations of their loved ones if they signed up for Obamacare. Obama replied that “there is no sharing of the data of information with… immigration officials,” and encouraged Latinos to sign up, “even if it’s just for some the members of their family.”

The appearance on the radio program, which mainly features Mexican music, was the latest in a string of appearances by the President on Spanish-language media outlets. Obama has been making a major push to both Latinos and young people to sign up for Obamacare ahead of the March 31st sign up deadline.

Ron Swanson to Headline RTCA Dinner (Megan Mulally Will Be There Too)

The Radio and Television Correspondent’s Association announced today that actor Nick Offerman, of “Parks and Recreation” fame, will headline their 70th Annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner. Offerman’s wife, “Will & Grace” actress Megan Mulally (Karen) will be his guest for the evening.

According to the press release the RTCA Dinner is known “as the ‘fun’ black tie dinner,” which promises lots of “surprises” and “craft beer.” My, that does sound fun.

But they don’t let things get too crazy, like some other correspondents dinners.

“The dinner is also focused on our core mission: celebrating Washington journalists and the issues we cover,” the press release said. “This is not a dinner for Hollywood.”

Well, except for Nick Offerman and Megan Mulally. You guys are cool.

Afternoon Lede Check, 3.18.14

A man was shot and killed when he fires on officers; the U.S. suspends consular relations with Syria; and a Navy Yard review suggests DOD handed out too many security clearances.

From WaPo to WJLA, here are the stories that are leading your homepages today, after the jump…

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FBDC Tweeterboard: National On-Air Talent

It’s that time of the month again to check out the social standing of DC’s stable of national correspondents and anchors. FishbowlDC tallied the Twitter followers of the top 20 on-air journalists including broadcast, cable, and radio. Here’s what we found:

1.) George Stephanopoulos* ABC 1,936,395
2.) David Gregory NBC 1,651,521
3.) Newt Gingrich* CNN 1,493,576
4.) Scott Simon NPR 1,251,445
5.) John Donvan ABC 1,232,606
6.) Wolf Blitzer CNN 697,050
7.) Bret Baier FOX 453,195
8.) Chuck Todd MSNBC 415,265
9.) Greta VanSusteren FOX 406,677
10.) Jake Tapper CNN 324,883

Catch 11 – 20 after the jump…

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Chief WH Correspondent Slams VOA in Retirement Letter

Voice of America, the official external media of the US government, has been in decline of late. They have been hemorrhaging reporters and apparently suffering from a crisis in management. Now, after 34 years, Chief White House Correspondent Dan Robinson has had enough. According to a letter obtained by BBG Watch to the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the International Broadcasting Bureau -the agencies that oversees VOA – Robinson and other veteran reporters have been leaving because of “exceptionally bad and hostile management.” From the letter:

At one point, correspondents in Washington bureaus were discouraged from filing on breaking news. In its place, they were often tasked with producing “TV” reports that inevitably consumed numerous additional hours.

Due to staffing and technical problems in Central News, particularly relating to the production process, final “TV” products ended up being completed late, well after other media organizations had put out several layers of reports on a breaking news event.

Reporters too often ended up being mired in hours of email exchanges, phone conversations, and copy and paste exercises to produce scripts that “dumbed down” breaking events. 

Read Robinson’s whole letter after the jump…

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Wait Wait WHAT?? Carl Kasell Retiring from Signature NPR Program

waitwaitNPR’s Carl Kasell announced today that he’s stepping down from “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” after a five-decade career in broadcasting. Kasell will record his final “Wait Wait” broadcast this spring and celebration shows are planned in Chicago and DC.

Kasell became an audience favorite as the Official Judge and Scorekeeper of “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” Among the program’s most popular quiz segments were those built around Kasell impersonating newsmakers and celebrities from the week’s headlines.

Fans of Kasell can leave him voice mails by calling 1-888-Wait-Wait.

In retirement, he’ll become Scorekeeper Emeritus of the program and will continue to record custom voice mail greetings for the show’s lucky winners and continue to occasionally appear on the program.

For 30 years, Kasell provided newscasts for NPR’s “Morning Edition.” He joined NPR in 1975 as a part-time newscaster for “Weekend All Things Considered.” Prior to that, he spent 10 years at WAVA, in Arlington, Va., first as morning anchor, then as news director. Before moving to DC in 1965, Kasell was morning deejay and newscaster at WGBR-AM in Goldsboro, NC. He also worked at a local radio station part time during high school and was an actor in local theater.

The Hammer, Tom DeLay, to Write and Talk for TWT

Tom DeLay, the powerful former Majority Leader and reality TV star, will contribute a weekly column to The Washington Times and also serve as an on-air personality for TWT‘s new radio venture. From the press release announcing the hire:

Starting this week, DeLay will appear on a weekly on-demand radio show with Andy Parks, who separately hosts “Live from The Washington Times” on WRC 1260 AM on weekdays. DeLay’s 30-minute program will be streamed on the Kaliki-based, on-demand radio network that was recently established in partnership with the Times.

DeLay will elaborate the themes he develops on air into a weekly column.

DeLay, of course, was the all-powerful majority leader of the Republican caucus in the House during the Bush years, before resigning his leadership position after being indicted in a campaign finance scandal. He was convicted on charges of violating election laws, but was later acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

Julie Rovner Leaving NPR for KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation announced last week that NPR  health correspondent Julie Rovner will be coming on board as a Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow.

While at NPR, Rovner has reported on health policy and politics in Washington and around the country.  Rovner has also served as NPR’s lead correspondent covering the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She is also the author of Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z, published by CQ Press.

Rovner will begin her fellowship in May and will also work as a Senior Correspondent with Kaiser Health News (KHN) and its news partners, covering health policy and politics and doing enterprise reporting for a variety of platforms.

Tea Party Talker Rusty Humphries To Be Key Part of TWT Expansion

Rusty Humphries, a spokesman for the Tea Party Leadership Fund and a former conservative radio show host from Arizona, has been hired by The Washington Times. Humphries will have a significant role at TWT. He will be a weekly columnist, a blogger and a daily video show host.

Humphries’ appointment is part of Editor John Solomon‘s plan to transform The Washington Times from a conservative relic into a multi-platform juggernaut. The paper has also hired two other contributors in recent weeks. Cliff May will write a foreign affairs column, and Iowa radio host Steve Deace will pen an opinion column, as well as produce radio content for the paper.

Until it ended last October, Humphries’ radio show was the 6th most listened to show in the country, according to Talkers Magazine. He is also a singer/songwriter and creator of the song “Do the Bart Simpson” -yes really. His albums include Bomb Iraq: Rusty Humphries Takes On the Terrorists, and Thank Allah I’m a Jihad Boy.

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