Tuesday, August 01, 2006

BREAKING NEWS: Browns Win Court Battle with WOIO

UPDATE 3:40 PM 8/1/06: The Plain Dealer reports that the Browns have reached a financial settlement to end their relationship with WOIO, and have opened negotiations with channels 3, 5 and 8. An announcement could come as soon as Thursday on a new Browns TV outlet.

A copy of the joint press release announcing the end of the WOIO/Browns contract is here...


Just over the transom via the Cleveland Plain Dealer's weblog:

A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court judge has sided with the NFL Cleveland Browns in a lawsuit filed by Raycom Media CBS affiliate WOIO/19.

The rejection of WOIO's request to block the Browns from ending their contract with Channel 19 means that the team is likely to find a new local TV partner "with lightning speed", says team attorney Robert Duvin.

The decision and that wording means that a new local TV outlet will carry the Browns pre-season games and other team programming, even this year...as Duvin says such an announcement could come "within days".

Judge Timothy McMonagle said WOIO's request to block the Browns contract breaking move "wasn't warranted", though other issues regarding WOIO's request for damages remain on the legal table.

It will likely be a moot point, though. Duvin says the team should reach a financial settlement with WOIO soon, and says the team will seek a "rational" settlement and not "prolong the agony" now that they're able to find a new TV outlet...


Anonymous said...

Life is good.

Johnny Morgan said...

1.50pm--the PD reports that the Browns and Channel 19 have reached a financial settlement for the remainder of the contract.

What was most laughable--if the report was correct--was that Channel 19 argued that its news and sports divisions were separate. That might hold more weight if news personnel were not also scantily-dressed sideline reporters, news teams did not report from entire sets set up at camp, Browns programming was "slyly" inserted into news broadcasts, etc.

More importantly, the STATION is a whole: there is no contract with "Channel 19 Sports"--it's with WOIO LLC and Raycom. Even more reason why the man at the top, the GM, who should be the one who has the foresight to realize that news and sports and business relations ALL need to be balanced, failed in his task.

I repeat once again--this was never about the Browns controlling the news department, or the news department being censored or otherwise restricted, or rich folks controlling the news. This has always been about management at Chester and East 12th not knowing that there are more things to life than tabloid news and that businesses who have relationships with a station aren't always going to sit idly by if the station airs something it doesn't like. It worked for hundreds of advertisers over the years--the Browns were not the first. Gary Dee lost how many businesses at WERE, WHK, and 3WE?

It's time for the kids in the basement of Reserve Square to put out the smoke, clean up the coffee table, put away the "art" books, become mature adults and...dare I say it...CLEEEEAAAAN UUUUUUUUUP!

I have a feeling GM Bill Applegate isn't long for this city's media landscape, and neither is business as usual the last 5 or 6 years at WOIO/WUAB. The party's over kiddos--mommy and daddy are back. Hide the hash while you still have a chance.

Anonymous said...

I think this leaves WEWS in the driver's seat to get the Browns TV rights.

WKYC/STO has their hands full with the Indians, and while the sister stations would love to have the Browns, I think the folks in Berea would like a station all to themselves.

WJW is out because they don't want to disrupt things with FOX, which has their own NFL preseason slate of games.

Channel 5, however, can throw everything they have into Browns coverage, and their sports team (Miller/Chandler/Robak) would be 100x more profeesional and 100x less self serving than the folks at Reserve Square.

TV5 already has Mary Kay Cabot of the PD as a regular contributer, plus I'm sure they can round up a former player or 2 to be analysts.

Anonymous said...

That's true.

Ch. 5 is going to have a lot of OSU games and assorted pre and post game shows this year.

So if they get the Browns as well, they can promote themselves as THE big football station in town.

Anonymous said...

Today there is justice. I'm am glad that someone has finally realized that you cannot do what you want and expect to get away with it. WOIO should realize that the browns had a contract with them, not the sports department. All this time ch 19 and the Plain Dealer painted this picture that it was either a rich/poor issure or a freedom of sppech thing, or that the newsroom is seperate from the sports department and the court decided that it was not that but rather it was a clear breach of contract. Thank You to the courts.
Where does this leave WOIO/WUAB? It leaves them up S*%T creek. How fast as the mighty fallen WOIO. I have to say HAHA you got what was coming to you. That's what you get for extorting cable compaines to carry your award losing signal in the early 90's when you were FOX NINETEEN WOIO Shaker Hights Cleveland so they could carry FOX and the CAVS in addition to the long, long list of things you have done. See how KARMA comes back to haunt you when you commit dirty deeds.