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Posts Tagged ‘Dave McConnell’

WTOP’s McConnell Gets Newly Created Award

WTOP Radio’s ubiquitous Capitol Hill Correspondent, Dave McConnell, earned a unique recognition this week. The Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association declared him the first ever winner of the Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress.

McConnell has more than 50 years of reporting experience in Washington. He joined WTOP in 1965 and became the station’s full-time Capitol Hill Correspondent in 1981, a position he still holds today.

“As a kid, Dave and his classmates used to cut class to go see the Senators,” said WTOP Vice President of News & Programming Jim Farley. “His buddies went to Griffith Stadium to see the Washington Senators play but Dave actually went to The Hill to watch U.S. Senators debate. Dave is admired by members of Congress from both parties because of his fairness. Now his colleagues on ‘The Hill’ have chosen him as the first-ever recipient of their new lifetime achievement award. Dave is the EverReady Bunny of Congressional Correspondents and the hardest working Septuagenarian covering Congress and trying to keep them honest.”

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McConnell Celebrates 45 Years at WTOP

115802.jpgCapitol Hill radio correspondent Dave McConnell is an icon around the hill. If anything is going on, he’s always in the gaggle.

This month McConnell celebrates a whopping 45 years at the WTOP. He came to the station in 1965 and became the full-time Capitol Hill correspondent in 1981.

But don’t expect a party – not because they don’t want to give him one, but because he doesn’t want the fanfare. “He is really quite self-effacing,” said Jim Farley, McConnell’s boss and V.P. of News and Programming at WTOP.

McConnell, who won’t reveal his age but says he’s “old enough to collect Social Security,” says Capitol Hill still entrances him. “Once you think you’ve done everything you can do, something new happens, the so-called underpants bomber, then the upturns in politics, the Harry Reid incident,” he said in a phone interview.

McConnell has zero plans to retire. “As long as I have a seat covering the greatest show on earth, and can witness history being made, I’m going to keep on reporting,” he said. “I get to cover statesmen, scalawags, gentlemen (and gentlewomen) and scoundrels, issues, drama and histrionics.”

His favorites are many. “People who stand out in my mind, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy who I covered and did know personally as a reporter. [Another] on the Republican side would be John McCain. You would certainly think of him. Sen. Robert Byrd — the venerable Sen. Byrd. He has, frankly, such a unique character. … He’s our bridge to the past up here and I mean that in a positive sense.”

So how will he celebrate this monumental occasion? “I will celebrate like I always do by getting up early, working my sources, going to news conferences, going to floor debate, and just keep doing my job,” he said.

McConnell’s anniversary date is January 18.

He is heard weekdays in the morning and afternoon drive times on WTOP on 103.5 FM in the metro, 103.9 FM in Frederick, and 107.7 FM in Virginia and worldwide on wtop.com.

RTCA Dinner Date Set… St. Patty’s Day 2010

Mark your calendars…

The Radio and TV Correspondents Association just announced via email that the 66th annual dinner will be held Wednesday, March 17th next year, and again at the Washington Convention Center.

Linda Scott with “NewsHour” is this year’s dinner chair. C-SPAN’s Peter Slen, SRN News’ Linda Kenyon, WTOP’s Dave McConnell, Fox’s Chad Pergram, CBS’ Jill Jackson and Al Jazeera’s Jeffrey Ballou make up the rest of the executive committee.

Happy 40th WTOP!


Syndicated columnist and broadcaster Cal Thomas, WRC-TV and WAMU-FM reporter Tom Sherwood and WTOP investigative reporter Mark Seagraves. Photo from R&R.

WTOP celebrated a 40th anniversary Tuesday with a party at the Newseum. It’s the top-rated radio station in the DC market.

In attendance: WTOP’s Mike McMearty, Mike Gartell, CBS Radio’s Harvey Nagler, Jim Bohannon, Dave McConnell, NPR’s Ann Taylor, and Bob Madigan, who served as the evening’s emcee.

The guest list wasn’t as star-studded with DC media types as WTOP as planned. R&R reports: “The President had the audacity to call a news conference tonight,” said a top network news executive who was only half joking.

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, who declared Tuesday “WTOP Day” also made an appearance.