News & Politics

A Surprise for Washington Media Obsessives: DCRTV Is Back

Dan Lane bought Dave Hughes's old media-news domain and hopes to revive its glory days.

Dan Lane, the new face of DCRTV. Photograph courtesy of Dan Lane.

A dormant URL sprung back to life last month when relaunched. The blog, which covered Washington, DC-area media, especially radio and television, had laid dormant since its founder, Dave Hughes, died in 2021.

The new Dave is Dan Lane, who never knew Hughes but is as obsessed with local media as its bearded, camo-shorts-wearing founder was. “I was probably on that site three times a day,” Lane tells Washingtonian.

Hughes’s DCRTV was a sort of Drudge Report for people obsessed with the fate of WETA’s Frederick antenna, the palace intrigue surrounding the 3-6 PM slot at WMAL, and who was kicking butt in the Metropolitan Media Softball League. Hughes’s site lived on Geocities in its early days, and he never wasted much money on web design over the following decades. No matter—DCRTV was a must-visit for media workers during the rustic days of local online news, filled with anonymous tips, news, and gossip.

The new DCRTV feels considerably less frenetic than Hughes’s site. Lane mixes news items with podcasts where he interviews people who were behind the scenes at various points of DC-area broadcast history, like former WPGC DJ Albie Dee, as well as vintage airchecks from radio stations like DC101 in 1980. “I think the real challenge in 2024 is there’s not as much media news as there was 25 years ago,” Lane says. “We’re definitely going to have news and gossip, but I’m going to create other content.”

Lane, who lives in Haymarket, says he’s been fascinated by TV and radio since he was little and worked in radio through college. When he saw the domain was up for renewal, Lane says, “I was just afraid that somebody would buy it and not do anything with it. So I thought, maybe I should do it.” Lane didn’t contact anyone in Hughes’s family before relaunching; his sister Patricia tells Washingtonian in a Facebook message that she’s not quite sure what to make of the return of her brother’s publication. “Hopefully he will not abuse it,” she writes when asked about Lane’s new venture. “Dave dedicated himself to that site.”

DCRTV’s archives didn’t convey with the sale and appear to exist now only on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (though many of Hughes’s videos are still available on YouTube). Lane hopes to sell advertising on the site, though he says he doesn’t view it as a big moneymaker: “I would say it’s probably more in, like, the hobby category.” And despite the consolidation that’s hollowed out the region’s broadcast corps, he says he’s found readers among Hughes’s former fans. “I’ve gotten a ton of emails from people that are happy to hear that it’s back,” he says.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.