WAMU-FM will not renew its contract with Capitol News Connection when it expires April 30, the Washington Post is reporting today (Jan. 17). The Post had written last fall (Current, Sept. 9, 2010) that CNC is owned by the wife of one of the station's top managers, which presented a potential conflict of interest at the pubradio station. CNC's Power Breakfast and This Week in Congress have aired on WAMU since late 2007, and the production company also provides spot news coverage of Capitol Hill activities.
In a Jan. 14 e-mail to staff, station News Director Jim Asendio said WAMU's newsroom is now sufficiently staffed to provide that coverage in-house. He did not cite the controversy. But CNC founder and owner Melinda Wittstock, wife of WAMU programmer Mark McDonald, told the newspaper that its contract discussions with WAMU are continuing, so comment would be inappropriate. "We hope to find a way forward," she added.