SWITCH­ING GEARS

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

It’s been 17 years and change since I be­gan pen­ning In­side the Belt­way for The Wash­ing­ton Times. Shortly there­after, the daily col­umn be­came a fea­ture of the Los An­ge­les Times Syn­di­cate and Chicago’s Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices. And as tech­nol­ogy has pro­gressed be­yond pa­per, so has the col­umn, ap­pear­ing reg­u­larly on pop­u­lar In­ter­net sites, in­clud­ing Townhall.com.

In 2004, upon pub­lish­ing the book “In­side the Belt­way: Off­beat Sto­ries, Scoops and Shenani­gans From Around the Na­tion’s Cap­i­tal,” a ques­tion was posed on how many col­umns I had writ­ten to date. I counted then about 3,600, give or take a few dozen, a num­ber that’s grown to­day to about 5,100 col­umns.

Fig­ur­ing each col­umn con­tains five or six news items, I’ve filed about 28,000 sto­ries, the ma­jor­ity of them exclusive in na­ture.

To­day, this one-time broad­caster is proud to be join­ing long- time San Fran­cisco ra­dio per­son­al­ity Me­lanie Mor­gan as coan­chor of The Times’ new morn­ing-drive ra­dio show, which de­buted na­tion­wide June 15 with spe­cial guests.

“Amer­ica’s Morn­ing News” is syndicated by the Talk Ra­dio Net­work, which has de­vel­oped and launched long-form ra­dio pro­gram­ming for such na­tional tal­ents as Laura In­gra­ham, Michael Sav­age and Mon­ica Crow­ley. From a state-of-the-art stu­dio bor­der­ing The Times’ bustling news­room, this unique joint ven­ture hits air­waves coast to coast from 6 to 9 a.m., five days a week, show­cas­ing The Times’ in­ves­tiga­tive and ac­count­abil­ity jour­nal­ism.

As for In­side the Belt­way, rest as­sured the col­umn will al­ways re­main a ma­jor daily fea­ture, al­beit I wel­come aboard a much­needed pri­mary co-colum­nist, who will be an­nounced shortly. Un­til then, stay tuned.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jm­c­caslin@wash­ing­ton­times .com.

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