Monday, July 24, 2006

Drennan Gets His Sentence

It's no surprise, as there was a plea bargain in the case, but long-time Cleveland sports radio/TV personality Bruce Drennan has been handed his sentence in his tax fraud case.

WKYC/3's Obie Shelton reports it's - as expected - a five month federal prison term, and a five month term under house arrest. Drennan admitted to not reporting income on illegal baseball betting.

Shelton says Drennan thanked supporters who wrote to Judge Donald Nugent, and said he only had himself to blame for the sentence. The former WKNR/850 morning host says he hopes to return to sportscasting after he serves out his sentence.

OMW presumes that his first call will be to Reserve Square, where WOIO/19-WUAB/43 has already enlisted him to do commentary for the "19 Action News" website...


Mark Tromba said...

Bruce is a professional's professional. I know he'll land on his feet and put this unfortunate incident behind him.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Thanks for the note, Mark, and thanks for dropping by OMW! We enjoy you on weekends on WTAM.

We've talked about Bruce before. We've never been huge fans of his on-air style, frankly. We haven't worked with him, so we can't speak to his behavior in the workplace.

But we admire him for standing up and taking responsibility for this, and believe everyone deserves a "second chance". The admission that he has "no one but himself to blame for this" is heartening in an age where everyone tries to pin their problems on someone else.

Bruce would actually fit in rather well alongside Chuck Galeti and David Pingalore at WOIO.


ES said...

yes, bruce will find a job at WOIO. I just wish him good luck.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have enjoyed Bruce thru the years...both on WTAM and WKNR. He may have been the most-knowledgable sportstalker on either station. Hope he and his family (pookie & maudie included) land on their feet.

By the way, does anyone else think that Mark Tromba and Mike Snyder sound almost identical? It's hard to tell them apart many times. Agreed, they both do great work.

Anonymous said...

Are you guys kidding?

A "professional"?

"Taking responsibility"?

"Deserves a second chance"?

Holy crap are you guys delusional. That prick only "took responsibility" when he got caught, like any common criminal!

It's easy to "find God" when standing before a judge, but what kind of a "stand up" guy was he, OMW, when he was raking in hundreds of thousands every single year on illegal bets?

This was NOT a "one time" offense.

He repeatedly ran illegal bets for YEARS...over and over...knowing full well that he was breaking the law, and then flaunting his huge pocket roll in everyone's face.

He had a "second chance" after he placed his first illegal wagers. Then he had a third, and a fourth, and a 600,000th...right up until he was busted.

This guy isn't even being punished for his illegal gambling ring, only for the tax evasion. Which means he got off LIGHT!

And trust me, I know. I was in the room with him when he made bets from the studios, night after night, after night.

He's the biggest phony in Cleveland radio history, and he gets whatever ass-pounding he receives in the federal pen where he belongs.

Anonymous said...

I kinda have to agree that he's getting off light, considering what they COULD have stuck Bruce with. I wondered where the charges of operating a gambling/bookie ring went, along with those alleged mob associates. And those transcripts from the wiretaps were pretty incriminating; his language was deplorable. So it does ring hypocrital when he's saying "God bless ya" to his listeners, and muttering the F-bomb over and over to his gambling debtors.

The other inmates should love the fact that Bruce is into showtunes, however.

Ohio Media Watch said...

To our last contributor:

I don't think it's a secret that we're no fan of Bruce's, professionally. (See above. :D)

We've never met the man, so we can't speak to any of what you've written, or his personal character.

As far as we know, this is his first and only legal entanglement resulting from the illegal gambling investigation. We can't speak to how light his sentence is, because we are not in the legal system.

All of that said, assuming we're correct, this IS his "second chance" for us, from this viewpoint. At least in public, he's said the right things in his sentencing phase.

What happens beyond that is up to one person - Bruce Drennan.


Anonymous said...

I've been trying to find a clever way to weave "the bags are juiced" and "duck on the pond" into this discussion, and keep coming up empty. Man, I absolutely HATE writer's block ...

Anonymous said...


I'm the anonymous 2 posts before yours, and I can speak to his personal character, having and worked in the same building with the man.

I watched the betting, and I've seen the gangster's roll flaunted before a half dozen of us in the building on numerous occasions.
I've heard the bragging about how the IRS "doesn't have a clue" and that his radio job was only his front job, to show the IRS how he got his house and cars.

Question for you: If a man is arrested for one murder, is his "legal entanglement" you mentioned the same as someone who has been arrested for 15 murders? A serial killer?

Because that's what Drennan is, a serial gambler and tax cheat. His crimes went on, repeated for years.

He had a second chance already, and he chose to repeat his crime again and again. The only way he could have "said the right things" at his sentencing, which seemed to impress you so much, is if he had said them years ago, while still a gambling degenerate. Then and only then could anyone legitimately say he deserves another chance at anything.

And for you, 2nd anonymous above: "Come here, Brucey Bitch. Time to go to work on the 3 of us. The bags are juiced."

Ohio Media Watch said...

OK, I guess we can agree to disagree on some of this.

I'm not sure that gambling/tax cheating should be compared to murder, for one thing. They're entirely separate crimes with separate sentences.

I also wasn't really "impressed" with Bruce's statements. I thought they were a good idea, and that it did show taking some responsibility. Yes, after many years of doing it.

But on this end, we're not big fans of him, so whether or not he paid his karmic bill with this is not really of much concern to us. To us, he's basically just another sportscaster we don't usually listen to...and actively avoided back when he was doing Show Tunes in the Morning on 'KNR.

He'll do his time, he'll do his house arrest, then probably end up at Reserve Square, a TV news operation we've spent many an hour poking fun at. It means not much to us.

But...we understand your alleged personal experience in this.

We have to say that, because you're an anonymous contributor with no proof of what you write. I'm not saying I don't believe it, but we have to be pretty careful when stepping into that sort of thing. Bruce has admitted to much of what you talk about, so it's not a huge deal, but you can understand how we have to tread carefully when it comes to accusations against someone...whether you (or we) "like" them or not.

Anyway, whether Bruce has "paid his debt to society" is not our call...and whether it affects his career, or not, isn't our call, either.


Anonymous said...

I see some of the anonymous posts here and feel inclined to chime in.

Bruce Drennan is one of the most arrogant @$$holes I've ever met.

I too have worked with him in the past and can attest to his illegal activities. Beyond that, I've spoken with him after his story came out and subsequent dismissal from WKNR. EVEN THEN he spoke candidly about how he "had the best lawyer in the land in Guiliani" and "they're not going to be able to nail me."

Well maybe so, but the arrogance the man exhibited to me involving his "getting off" with what turns out to be 5 months in a resort prison and 5 months of house arrest told me that he is truly not sorry for what he did and is only playing to the public. The man always believed in "showbiz" and once again he's just playing the sympathy card with his fake apologies and thanking of fans.

The funny thing to me is how people either seem to love Bruce Drennan or hate him. I think I know why. Bruce Drennan is not a genuine nice guy unless you kiss his behind or he kisses yours. Thats why hes always had such good relationships with certain sponsors - he knows he needs them so he turns on the charm and sucks up. Meanwhile, the only co-workers he treats with respect are the ones who suck up to him or the ones who control his destiny (hence his relationship with Errol Dengler)

I won't get into some of the stuff this guys has said and done - you don't even want to hear what he said about Casey Coleman when word came out about his cancer...

Drennan is just a bad guy plain and simple. Its sad that so many people see him in a different light - then again they either don't really know him or they like him because they spent their time working with him as one of the suck-ups.

Tim Lones said...

I hesitate to say anything but here goes:
I really for the most part never cared for Drennan's schtick, but it is too easy to get on here anonymously and rip the man to shreds when he has no way to defend himself..He may well not be sorry for what he did but that is ultimately on him..not for us to judge, especially when we dont come out and identify ourselves..

Anonymous said...

Regarding the sly comments about people posting "anonymously"...

I have tried over and over and over again to sign-up as a "Blogger" (one of the 3 choices), but no matter how many "User-names" I have tried, it always rejects them. So I'm forced to log in as "Anonymous."

I'm sure I'm not the only person who has this trouble; we'd LIKE to identify ourselves...I just doesn't seem possible.

Also, I don't think anyone has commented anything about Bruce, here, that isn't pretty factual. They worked with him; we've read and heard his off-air words & activities. Not exactly a law-abiding fella; and it he hadn't been caught, he'd still be singing on WKNR and facilitating illegal bets...I'll give you 2:1 odds on that.

Tim Lones said...

..To the poster above:
If the problem is truly blog related I am sorry for any offense..I've been on too many radio sites where people are anonymous (sometimes they have to be i realize)But just have used anonymity as a sheild as I am sure you know..It just irritagtes me..BTW..I am not in the radio industry so I have no vested interest in any of this

Anonymous said...

Back in May, when STO replayed Len Barker's perfect game, I had the chance to enjoy it with my two sons, ages 16 and 13. They'd always heard me talk about it, now they could live through it, too. About 5 minutes into the replay, after listening to a certain color analyst, my 16-year-old (who has an affinity for radio sports) said with a twinge of disgust, "Dad, who is THAT?"

"The worst broadcaster in the history of the Cleveland Indians," I told him.

"You got that right," he said.

Bruce Drennan ... influenza-ing fans to this day. If I wasn't so determined to watch that game again, I would have done what I did hundreds of times back then -- CLICK!

Anonymous said...

Joe Tait recalled, at Bruce's Radio Hall of Fame Induction, that when the execs told Joe they were going to pair him up with Bruce on the Tribe TV broadcasts, Joe answered with one word: "Why??"

It was funny, but I think Joe & Bruce developed a chemistry and friendship over the years. Bruce can be very ingratiating and loyal, if you treat him right in return. And he really does know sports. The voice and style take a little getting used to, but some of these other so-called "polished" radio voices in town grate on my nerves, because they're so awful.

And does anyone wish Mark Schwab would stop bellowing "NEEEEWWWSSS TIIIIIMMMMEEEE!" like Daffy Duck in the middle of the Tribe Insider pre-game show? I wretch.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to post anonymously too, but only because I'm still trying to make it in this business. Bruce still has a lot of clout in Cleveland radio, and a lot of contacts, and I don't want my name to be ruined by him for saying this, but the other posters are right.
I interned for Bruce and he used to show me his betting cards all the time. he even told me how much he makes and how he could never be caught because his guys were so loyal. He called in his baseball bets during a commercial break one night and asked me if I wanted to put money in before he hung up the phone, then called me a coward for not doing it. He pulled out what looked like a couple thousand dollars and threw it on the table and said Thats how you do it!
He's just a very unlikable guy who would still be betting and rubbing his interns noses in it if he hadn't been caught. And since he rolled over on his buddies, he got out of the gambling sting and was hit only with the tax charges. A real professional isnt he.

Ohio Media Watch said...

I think we've pretty much taken this as far as it goes, and we'll close the comment.

Once again, OMW is not a message board, and we don't really have time to moderate controversial topics. If you'd like to continue to express your opinion on such things, OMW has links to local radio/TV-oriented message boards over to the left.

As far as Blogger's anonymous comment thing, I don't know if there's anything we can do about it. Feel free to sign your name manually if you have to post as "anonymous", should you wish to do so, and if you wish to confirm yourself to OMW, please drop us an E-Mail.

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