July 29, 2014

ESPN Cleveland and 92.3 The Fan to share Browns broadcasting rights

It appears that Browns ownership will not be the only thing changing for the first time since 1999. Having been broadcast on WMMS 100.7 /FM every Sunday since the team’s return, multiple reports are circulating which state the team will no longer be heard on Clear Channel airwaves.

Tom Reed at The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Browns are entering into a long-term deal to have their games broadcast on Good Karma Broadcasting’s WKNR 850/AM (ESPN Cleveland), as well as CBS’ WKRK 92.3/FM (92.3 The Fan) and WNCX 98.5/FM. “The most unusual aspect of the agreement is that WKNR and WKRK are rival sports talk stations,” writes Reed. “They entered into negotiations with the Browns bidding against each other, a source said, but at some point decided to join forces against Clear Channel.”

Bob Finnan at The News-Herald reported that as many as eight of the Browns’ preseason and regular-season games butted heads with Indians’ broadcasts, which bumped them off WTAM. “They’ll no longer have to play second fiddle to the Tribe,” Finnan writes.

Clear Channel owns seven channels in Cleveland, including WTAM-AM 1100, WMMS-FM 100.7 and WMJI-FM 105.7. Though rumored to also be losing the rights to the Cleveland Indians, Clear Channel retained said rights and will broadcast games on both their AM station as well as 100.7 FM in 2013. They will continue to hold the rights to the Cavaliers who have their games broadcasted on WTAM-AM 1100.

The result of this change, which is expected to be announced on Thursday, will be a doubling in team-specific broadcast hours. Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan and analyst Doug Dieken will reportedly continue to anchor the radio broadcasts.

[Related: Jason Campbell to Cleveland makes some sense]

  • MrCleaveland

    Guess this means the meatheads at WKNR will have to stop ripping the Brownies, and the folks at WTAM can start.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    This is especially funny now because of all the fans on Twitter who were trying to perpetuate some crazy fake radio war between the stations that never existed.

  • http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/ Charles Luzar

    I was excited about this. Then I realized they’ll probably put Chuck Booms on analysis and now I just want to stab myself in the eye with a grapefruit spoon.

  • wizardofodd

    What about wmji, they originally had the rights before wmms.

  • tsm

    Given the weak signals of these stations, will anybody outside of Cuyahoga County be able to listen to a game? I hope there are deals in place with stations in other cities in the area.

  • wahoowarrior

    This sucks for me. As a law student living in Bloomington, Indiana I was actually able to pick up broadcasts on WTAM. Now I can’t get the postgame on the sad drive back from Yogi’s after spending three hours surrounding by some diehard Browns fans and a balls-ton of undeserving Colts fans.

  • Wow

    nope, not when both stations are awful.

  • FearTheRoo

    Anyone is better than Goldhammer and Fedor. But I think the Browns pick the broadcasters and it has to still be Donovan and Doug Dieken.

  • Wow

    Trust me, Hammer is going to be told to tone it down real quick.

  • markn95

    Whoop-de-freakin-doo. I get most of my sports talk/news from WKNR and the Fan (WTAM has too much other stuff going on). Both stations are already hyping this major “announcement” for tomorrow. I’m sure they will continue to beat their chests all summer, too. But what being the flagship of the team does in prestige it takes away in editorial license. Get ready for hours upon hours of canned, pro-Browns programming on both stations (those coach call-in shows have always been unlistenable to me) leading up to the games all week. Yuck.

  • Wow

    this guy gets it.