When WRC announced earlier this month that Lindsay Czarniak would be leaving her job at the local NBC affiliate for a spot with ESPN, Czarniak’s only words came via a statement. I tried to score an interview myself, but alas, the Sports Bog doesn’t always have the pull I’d like to imagine.
(Note: I was kind of joking about this; Lindsay subsequently told me we can talk whenever, though I think my questions have now been answered.)
But Czarniak finally talked about her departure to at least one local outlet, that being ESPN 980’s Sports Fix.
“I’m going up to do SportsCenter, and I’m really looking forward to it,” she told Kevin Sheehan and Thom Loverro. “It’s gonna be a huge challenge, and one of the cool things about it is that they’ve got so many different opportunities for stuff that you can do, so we’ll see where stuff falls. Yes, hopefully NASCAR in some capacity will be a part of it, but for now, my main focus is going to be doing SportsCenter, which is certainly going to be a lot on my plate. It’s gonna be really cool.
“The tough thing obviously is that I love it here, I love all my friends and family that are here, I love Channel 4. The people that I work with there are amazing; they’re like brothers, it’s like a family. So it’s hard.
“This has been a very very long thought-out decision on my part, that honestly was probably the biggest that I’ve had to make in my career. I don’t take it lightly at all, what I’m leaving here. There are so many different aspects of my job here that I love. It’s just time to take a leap of faith really, and have a new challenge. That’s really what it came down to.”
Czarniak said she will work at WRC until mid-July, and start at ESPN on August 8. She’ll be back in D.C. in October for her wedding to fellow NBCer Craig Melvin (they’re looking for a good wedding band!), and she didn’t have any intel about her replacement at NBC, though she did point out that Dan Hellie “tells dirty jokes,” which doesn’t really surprise me. And she talked about her decision to leave now, when she had passed on previous opportunities to do the same.
“I think a lot of it is timing, and there’s a point where you realize because of the way that timing matches up that it’s the right time to make a move like this,” Czarniak said. “Honestly, the opportunity that they were giving me was really intriguing. There were several different parts of it that I find really interesting and professionally satisfying, and one of the things is to be able to do it daily, and so I think that’s something that maybe was different from some of the other things that I’ve had come my way. So that was a big part of it. It also was SportsCenter, something that I’ve always thought was awesome, that I thought would be a tremendous opportunity. And that opportunity had not presented itself before directly.”