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Guest List: Today’s Newsmakers

The Washingtonians in headlines today we’d like to have dinner with tonight

• John Harbaugh. The Baltimore Ravens coach may have been exaggerating when he said he wants the franchise to take over Washington, DC. But given the high cost of NFL tickets and merchandise, the limited number of home games, and the miserable morale of Redskins Nation, a Baltimore marketing blitz might actually be a smart idea. What would it take to make a mass fan conversion a reality?

• Patricia Wright. As Virginia gears up for a battle royal over Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposal to start providing merit pay for teachers in so-called “hard to staff” school districts, the Virginia state superintendent of public instruction will play a crucial role. Wright may have to placate regions where teachers haven’t received raises because of budget constraints, while getting a new grants and a pay-for-performance system worth up to $5,000 per teacher off the ground. In the process, she and McDonnell could become the most hotly debated school reform duo since former DC mayor Adrian Fenty and former schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

• Bruce Reese. The current president and CEO of Bonneville International, which owns WTOP, will manage the radio station’s transition from one company to the next after Deseret Management Corporation announced yesterday that it has sold Bonneville to Minnesota-based Hubbard Broadcasting. Will that mean a break in WTOP’s format? Hubbard prides itself on a string of broadcasting awards in recent years, but we suspect that traffic and weather may remain the station’s meat and potatoes.

• Eric Axelson, Jason Caddell, Joe Easley, and Travis Morrison. The members of the seminal Washington indie-rock band the Dismemberment Plan stop by Late Night With Jimmy Fallon tonight as part of a brief reunion tour. Washington’s rich music scene sometimes fails to register with outsiders, so we’re glad to see the Plan representing not just for the rerelease of its 1999 album, Emergency & I, but for all the Washington bands and artists who deserve a national stage.

• Richard Sarles. The likely new pick for general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority would come into office with a tough mandate: to improve security on public transit, even as the region has reacted badly to the random bag searches that Sarles instituted, and to not just stabilize the system, as he said he initially intended, but to expand it.

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