Al Koken is the reporter for Washington Capitals games on CSN and serves as the host of Capitals Pregame Live and Capitals Postgame Live. He is also a play-by-play announcer for the CSN’s coverage of college basketball.
Koken, who joined the network in 1984, has served in every role for CSN during his tenure – including play-by-play announcer, analyst, reporter and host – and has covered every college and professional team in the region. This includes experience as play-by-play announcer and analyst for the Capitals, play-by-play announcer and reporter for the then-Washington Bullets and Baltimore Orioles reporter.
In addition to his work at CSN, Koken previously served as a sports anchor and reporter for Washington’s WTTG-TV and WUSA-TV. He joined the WTTG sports department in 1981, his first position in television, and worked with WUSA in the late 1980’s. He also hosted a locally syndicated Redskins show, Ball Hogs, and a nationally syndicated show, The Sports Edge, as well as work with ESPN and Fox Sports.
Koken has also held prominent roles covering sports for radio and print organizations during a career that began in 1975. He spent more than a decade as co-host of The John Thompson Show on ESPN 980 and hosted a nightly sports radio call-in show, Sports Talk, for two-and-a-half years on WTOP. He also spent more than five years covering sports as a print journalist for United Press International.
A native of St. Louis, Koken is a graduate of American University.
J.P. Finlay was named as CSN’s Redskins Insider in July 2016.
In this role, Finlay delivers extensive daily coverage of the Washington Redskins for CSN’s online, mobile and social media platforms. He also appears regularly on CSN’s television news, analysis and feature coverage, including its exclusive gameday shows and studio programs.
A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Finlay previously spent four years in digital media management and production positions with CSN, most recently as manager of content integration. He joined CSN in 2012 as a digital media producer and, beginning in 2014, was senior producer. In each of those roles, he contributed as a reporter to CSN’s extensive Redskins coverage. Finlay also gained experience covering the Redskins from SB Nation and the Washingtonian.
Finlay, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Maryland and Georgetown University, respectively, also gained experience as a writer for Roll Call and SNL Financial before joining CSN.
Tarik El-Bashir was named Capitals Insider in July 2016 after covering the Redskins for CSN for four seasons.
A longtime sports reporter, El-Bashir provides comprehensive Washington Capitals news, analysis and feature reporting for CSN’s online, mobile and social media platforms. He is also a regular contributor to CSN’s television coverage of the team, including live gameday shows and studio programming.
A Washington-area native, El-Bashir joined CSN in May 2012 from The Washington Post, where he spent 13 years in the sports department. During his last two years with the newspaper, he served as the beat writer for Georgetown University men’s basketball and contributed to its Washington Capitals coverage. Prior to that, El-Bashir was The Post’s beat writer for the Capitals from 2005 to 2010 and spent six years as the lead reporter covering high school sports.
A Howard University graduate, he joined The Post in 1999 from The New York Times, where he covered the New York Islanders for two years.
Sebastian Salazar serves as an anchor and reporter for CSN’s news, analysis and entertainment programming, including SportsNet Central. He also regularly hosts Capitals Pregame Live and Capitals Postgame Live.
A native of the Washington, D.C., area, Salazar rejoined CSN in December 2014 after spending two years as an anchor and reporter for CSN Houston, beginning with its launch in October 2012. During his tenure in Houston, he served as an anchor for the network’s daily news program and as the beat reporter covering Houston Dynamo (MLS) and Rice University basketball and football.
Prior to joining CSN Houston, Salazar spent more than three years covering Washington/Baltimore-area sports. As a member of CSN from 2009 to 2012, he produced and hosted content for CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, including high school sports shows. For the 2012 MLS season, he joined D.C. United as a reporter and host and contributed to CSN’s live coverage as sideline reporter.
Salazar’s previously spent two years as a sports anchor and reporter for WHSV-TV (ABC) in Winchester, Va., from 2006 to 2008, and with WDNN-TV in Dalton, Ga., from 2005 to 2006. His first position in sports media was as an intern for CSN Mid-Atlantic’s news department in 2003.
Salazar earned a degree in broadcast communications from Westminster College (Pa.).