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Redskins announce Julie Donaldson hired to replace Larry Michael as Senior VP of Media

The winds of change

Julie Donaldson, long-time reporter and TV host for NBC Sports Washington, has been hired as the Senior Vice President of Media, taking over for the recently retired Larry Michael, who had been with the Redskins for 16 years.

“It is with great humility and sincere appreciation that I accept this new role. This is a challenge I’ve been preparing and working towards for nearly 20 years in sports media, including the last decade in Washington. I am excited to join the organization as we begin a new era and I look forward to working with my new colleagues in making it stronger than ever. I also want to thank Dan and the Washington Organization for trusting me with this tremendous opportunity,” said Donaldson.

The hiring is interesting, coming as it does in the wake of last week’s Washington Post article that exposed long-term and widespread sexual harassment practices among senior executives of the franchise. The move to hire a female Senior VP might raise eyebrows if it were someone other than Donaldson, but she is a highly respected member of the DC Sports media corps who comes to the job with excellent credentials.

According to the team’s press release, during a decade-long tenure as a reporter, anchor and host for NBC Sports Washington (NCBSW) Julie Donaldson has covered nearly every team, athlete and major sports story in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore region, as well as across national and international sporting events.

Donaldson most recently served as host of NBCSW’s Emmy Award-winning NFL pregame and postgame shows and contributed regularly to its other football programs and coverage.

In addition to her work with NBCSW, Donaldson has also frequently held on-air roles for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. She has held three Olympic assignments as a News Desk Host during the 2018 (PyeongChang) 2016 (Rio) and 2014 (Sochi) Olympic Games, and often serves as a weekend Sports Desk host for NBC Sports.

Previously, Julie Donaldson hosted NBCSW’s live NBA gameday shows, and was an anchor and reporter for several NBCSW news, analysis and entertainment shows, including SportsNet Central, Training Camp Daily and Football Central.

Donaldson joined NBCSW in August 2010 after stops in some of the nation’s top markets, including Boston, New York and Miami. Most recently, Donaldson served as a sports anchor and reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV (NBC). Prior to WHDH, she was as a reporter for SportsNet New York (SNY) for two years, including the network’s inaugural season.

Donaldson began her career in Miami where she held a variety of positions for FOX Sports, including FS Florida and FS South. She served as a reporter for FS Florida’s Sports Rap, hosted SEC and ACC men’s basketball shows for FS South. She contributed to national broadcasts as a sideline reporter for ACC Sunday Night Hoops.

Her other television experience includes serving as a host and reporter for the Miami Heat’s “Heat TV,” providing pre-game and in-game coverage, and working as a producer and correspondent for Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, a program that aired nationally on PBS.

The Washington Post reports that, while Donaldson will be in the radio booth on gamedays, she will not replace Larry Michael’s role as the play-by-play announcer. Instead, Julie Donaldson will be tasked with hiring the new play-by-play announcer, which was described in the article as being her “first task as head of media”.

According to the team’s official press release, Donaldson will be the first woman to be part of an NFL team’s broadcast full-time. The team has traditionally had a three-person broadcast team, and rumors will likely swirl as to the most likely choice to take over as the new play-by-play announcer. One thing is for certain, the dynamic will be far different from the days not so long ago when the team featured Sonny Jurgenson and Sam Huff alongside, first, Frank Herzog, and, more recently, Larry Michael. The new look broadcast team seems to be one more piece of the changing tapestry that includes a new coaching staff, reorganized front office, and (coming soon) a new moniker and logo for the team.

Dan Snyder praised his new Executive VP in the team’s official announcement.

“Julie Donaldson is a trailblazing journalist who has worked on multiple award-winning shows and has a passion for sports in the DMV. She has contributed countless hours of her time to work alongside Tanya and WOW (Women of Washington) to help raise awareness for breast cancer. She has been a staple in the community and I can’t think of anyone better to lead our organization’s in-house media and content into this new digital age.” said Owner Dan Snyder.

Along with so many others in the Washington sports community, Hogs Haven welcomes Julie Donaldson to her new role.