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]