In an industry where turnover is common, it’s great to recognize that Dave McConnell is celebrating his 50th anniversary at WTOP radio.
McConnell started with WTOP on Jan. 18, 1965, as a reporter for what-was-then 1500 AM. He has spent most of his career as the station’s Capitol Hill correspondent, where he remains the only full-time congressional correspondent for a local radio station.
“It is part of WTOP lore that while other kids were skipping school to see the Washington Senators play at Griffith Stadium, Dave was skipping school to hear the real Senators debate on Capitol Hill,” said longtime WTOP News Director Mike McMearty.
McConnell started out as a local reporter, and soon found himself behind the microphone at the anchor desk before transitioning to the Hill.
His career has spanned 12 presidential elections and five inaugurations. He’s covered breaking news not only on the Hill but around the rest of D.C., including the 14th Street Bridge Air Florida crash, the shooting of President Ronald Reagan, the 1989 Capitol shootings and September 11, 2001.
“Dave McConnell is a class act. He’s a mixture of hustle, honesty and humbleness. Dave lets the members of congress express their point-of-view without inserting opinion or commentary. He is, and has always been known as, an honest broker. I consider it an honor to have worked with him for more than 20 years of his illustrious career,” added McMearty.
McConnell can be heard live each weekday morning and afternoon, just steps from the House floor in his hourly “Today on the Hill” segments.
BTW, he says he has no plans to retire anytime soon.