For 32 years, Michael Wilbon was the most well-known reporter and columnist in this town, for better or worse. A native of Chicago, Wilbon found his voice in the D.C. market, paid his dues and rose the ranks. Now, his time in D.C. is over. The Washington Post sent an e-mail out to employees this afternoon that Wilbon is leaving the paper to become a full-time employee with ESPN.â†µ
â†µâ†µThe ESPN/ABC rocket ship that Michael Wilbon has been riding the past several years has finally left our orbit. Wilbon will soon be leaving the Post - a place he has called home for nearly 32 years - as he takes on an even greater role for his networks and their parent company, Disney.â†µ
A move like this was probably inevitable, ever since Pardon the Interruption became such a hit in 2001. Wilbon has very clearly influenced a ton of people and athletes in this town, and he should be commended for his success, the way he carries himself and his generosity in advising others following him. But he has also lost a bit of his zip since moving to ESPN, and his columns on local sports recently have been a bit behind the times, now that there are so many voices out there. He's probably overextended himself a little with his dual gigs, and his writing has been affected.â†µ
In fact, this tweet from colleague Adam Kilgore probably sums it all up.â†µ
I was really hoping I'd get to meet Mike Wilbon before he left for ESPN.â†µ
Nevertheless, we wish Wilbon well as he moves forward in his career. There are plenty of other good local writers in this town that have picked up the slack.