Washington has an unlikely night spot: team tennis in downtown D.C. Kastles CEO Mark Ein hosts tennis great Billie Jean King during Serena Williams debut match while some of Washington’s power players — Larry Summers, Judy Woodruff, Al Hunt, Luke Russert, Michelle Fenty, Debra Lee, and Ray and Nina Benton — look on.
Serena Williams played for the Washington Kastles last night, after after spending the afternoon at the White House.
She wowed the crowed, which included: NBC’s Betsy Fischer and Luke Russert, Bloomberg’s Al Hunt and Margaret Carlson, Newshour’s Judy Woodruff, Larry Summers from the White House NEC, and venture capitalist and Kastles’ co-founder Mark Ein (those are the Fenty boys next to Mark).
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And Serena showed everyone what they came to see — some great tennis. Serena won her Singles match 5-2 (against Marie Eve-Pelletier), she and Rennae Stubbs won their Doubles match 5-1, and Serena and Leander Paes ran away with the Mixed Doubles match 5-0.
Two of the news organizations that won’t be taking as many people to the RTCA dinner this year as in the past are PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and ABC News.
In conjunction with “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill & National Journal,” “The Newshour” normally takes 15 tables, but this year, it is down to just two. The show’s financial crunch in the last year, due to corporate underwriting cutbacks, has been well documented.
“It’s a tight economic climate and we can’t afford it,” says Rob Flynn, VP of communications and marketing. “The organization is important to us and we’d like to do more.” Indeed, Linda Scott, producer of Capitol Hill and Congressional coverage for “The NewsHour,” will serve as chair of next year’s dinner.
Despite the smaller presence, the “NewsHour” snagged a high-profile administration guest. Sitting at one of its tables will be retired Marine Gen. James Jones, the National Security Adviser, and his wife Diane.
Also at the tables: “NewsHour” correspondent (and soon to be co-anchor) Judy Woodruff, PBS President CEO Paula Kerger and her husband Joe Kerger; the new COO of PBS, Michael Jones and his wife, Vicki Hawkins-Jones; and Les Crystal, the president of MacNeil Lehrer Productions. Ms. Ifill won’t be in attendance because “Washington Week” duty calls.
ABC News, meanwhile, will have just a single table. George Stephanopoulos won’t be there, but Jonathan Karl, the network’s senior congressional correspondent, will be in attendance, and of course Robin Sproul, VP and Washington bureau chief.
“We made a decision to cut back and have a smaller presence at the dinner this year. Since the White House Correspondents’ dinner was Obama’s first journalism dinner as President, we had a greater presence there and the guests to show for it. We’d also rather focus our resources on covering the news right now,” said spokeswoman Emily Lenzner.
Sally Quinn told me that she remembers reading the original newspaper stories about Big Edie, Jackie Kennedy’s aunt, and Little Edie, Jackie Kennedy’s first cousin, living in the dilapidated estate, Grey Gardens, the home Sally now owns in East Hampton. Here is Sally’s story from today’s Washington Post.
When Washington favorite, HBO Co-President Richard Plepler (who began his career as an aide to Senator Chris Dodd) comes to town, the stars some out … and the dinner and screening at The Motion Picture Association Wednesday night was no exception. George and Elizabeth Stevens, Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff, Elsa Walsh, Margaret Carlson, and the Washington Post dream team Marcus Brauchli with his wife Maggie Farley, and Raju Narisetti were all on hand.
And Obama friend and White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers joined the party, which included of course, Ben Bradlee, Sally Quinn, and their first-time author son, Quinn Bradlee … who didn’t seem to suffer any wear-and-tear from his grueling book tour schedule.
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