Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reghi Out as Cavs TV Voice

UPDATE 8/2/06 12:35 PM: This move is being confirmed not only by the Plain Dealer's Roger Brown, in a story now posted to Cleveland.com, but also by local sports radio reporter Joe Lull in his "Lull on Sports" blog. Both are reporting that long-time Cleveland Cavaliers TV voice Michael Reghi is being replaced by Detroit Pistons TV voice Fred McLeod.

Lull quotes sources that say Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert actually interned for McLeod in Detroit many years ago. We were unaware that Gilbert has broadcast interning in his past, but we don't know his resume all that well. We didn't remember that McLeod has some history in the Cleveland TV market, as a sports reporter/anchor at what's now WJW/8.

Still unclear: Reghi's overall status with FSN Ohio. It appears quite possible that he will continue to work for the cable network, as his name was listed as recently as today as part of the network's new Browns coverage. And it appears from all reports that the move to change the Cavaliers' TV broadcast team came out of Quicken Loans Arena, and not out of FSN Ohio in Independence.

More as it becomes available...

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We're told that a reliable source is reporting changes on the Cleveland Cavaliers' TV broadcast team, and there are signs that it may actually be happening.

The sports TV website "Call of the Game" is reporting that FSN Ohio is buying out the remaining two years of the contract of Cavs play-by-play voice Michael Reghi, and that Detroit sports voice Fred McLeod is being tabbed to replace him.

To that end, the Detroit Free Press reports that McLeod is leaving his sports anchor post at Detroit NBC affilate WDIV/4, and his job as the Detroit Pistons' TV play-by-play voice on FSN Detroit, and is "seeking a broadcast job with the Cleveland Cavaliers".

It's hard for us to believe that a sportscaster would leave both of his jobs at major market TV outlets if he didn't believe a new job was in the wings.

The move makes sense when you consider Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's numerous ties to the Detroit area. Gilbert lives in suburban Detroit, and his Rock Financial firm is based there. He's a long-time Pistons season ticket holder, and has likely watched McLeod for years.

OMW also hears that another Detroit broadcaster is thought to be the "heir apparent" to long-time Cavaliers radio voice Joe Tait...whenever the veteran broadcaster decides to retire. That name reportedly has Cleveland ties...

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is BOGUS CRAPOLA, Gilbert! We don't need MICHIGAN broadcasters coming to Cleveland and taking jobs of our already highly-qualified talent. Reghi is rated by many as an excellent broadcaster; and to even THINK about moving Joe Tait aside is unthinkable.

If anything, Austin Carr doesn't add much to the broadcasts. Didn't I just read that Craig Ehlo is out of a job? Let's try HIM out as color-man. And Campy on the pre-game...ugh. He looks like he's ready to fall asleep. This doesn't, however, mean we need a DETROIT REPLACEMENT!!

Don't try to recreate the Pistons here, Dan. We've got our own local flavor, tradition, faces & certainly don't need a northern invasion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim Lones said...

Not sure how many recall this but Fred McLeod (Pretty sure the same guy) was actually TV Voice of the Indians (With Joe Castglione) on WJKW-TV 8 in 1979..Their last year of Televising the Tribe before WUAB 43 started their long run as Indians Free TV home. As far as Reghi..He Is a good announcer but replaceable In my opinion. He'll land on his feet maybe at Sportstime Ohio..To the first poster..Nothing was said about moving Joe Tait aside..unless Joe wants to RETIRE. Don't think Gilbert is that dumb.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Tim's right, we did not mention Joe Tait being pushed aside.

All we've heard continues to indicate that the long-time Cavs radio voice will continue to do the job as long as he wants to do it.

As much as Dan Gilbert may want to make his own broadcast team, he's a smart businessman, and realize that even remotely nudging Joe Tait off the Cavs radio broadcasts would be the stupidest move since...

...well, since the Detroit Tigers dumped Ernie Harwill back a few years ago. And Mr. Gilbert was surely in town to watch how THAT one backfired.

If he didn't learn from that, and does any such move with Joe Tait, well...yours truly may even camp out at Quicken Loans Arena and protest.

Joe Tait IS Cavs radio, period, and should be allowed to do the job as long as he still has a voice.

Again, we have no indication that Tait's job is in any jeopardy, only that they may be preparing for whenever he decides to leave (see the phrase "heir apparent").

-OMW

Anonymous said...

As long as they don't touch Bill Needle, I'm fine.

There is no better broadcaster. Why his diction, speech and handsome looks are enough to make me watch.

Mike Catan said...

Even worse...Mcleod is from Pittsburgh.

Johnny Morgan said...

"he's a smart businessman, and realize that even remotely nudging Joe Tait off the Cavs radio broadcasts would be the stupidest move since..."

For a moment, I was thinking you were going to say "stupidest move since...Ted Stepien fired Joe Tait."

But Harwell works.

:-)

JLull said...

Reghi is being pushed out by Gilbert.

Gilbert used to intern for McLeod years ago and has always been a fan of his work.

There's more over at jlull.blogspot.com.

Roger Brown is also jumping on the story over at cleveland.com.

Anonymous said...

Didn't know Bill Needle actually read this blog. Welcome, Bill.

-- Your other fan

Ohio Media Watch said...

Johnny - I'd totally forgotten that Stepien was actually stupid enough to fire Joe Tait, but sure enough, he was. (For some reason, my memory was that Tait left on his own shortly after Stepien took over the team.)

There's a great article about this by Mary Schmitt Boyer in the PD from 2005. I can't get the article directly from Cleveland.com, but you can pick it out of Google's cache by using this as a search term:

"ted stepien" "joe tait" boyer

Then, hit the "Cached" link to read it.

And here, one of the dumbest statements ever made by a sports owner, out of the mouth of one Ted Stepien:

"No announcer has a following. Bob Prince was fired as voice of the Pirates. He was replaced. Joe Tait will be replaced. If he's so good, we'll see what kind of job he gets now."

Tait was "so good" that he got two major market sports jobs after Stepien let him go - with the New Jersey Nets and Chicago Bulls. Joe came back and is still here...as far as we know, Stepien isn't even running a professional softball team anymore.

-OMW

74WIXYGrad said...

Nothing can compare to when Ted Stepien replaced Joe Tait with Paul Porter which, in my opinion, was the Cleveland broadcasting version of Paul Warfield for Mike Phipps.

Ohio Media Watch said...

Or replacing Bernie Kosar with Todd Philcox (?).

Though, to be fair, the eventual replacement was Vinny Testaverde. Though we're not sure that makes the comparison all that better...

-OMW

Anonymous said...

It's true, most Cavs fans have put the Stepien Era out of their memories, like an outrageous nightmare. Remember, Teddy Boy also sued sports-king Pete Franklin for slander. The amazing thing is that Ted had enough sense to put shoes on each morn, let alone run a PR biz.

Art Modell should thank Ted for assuming the role of Worst Local Sports Owner in HISTORY.

JLull said...

Kenny Roda will have more on the Reghi situation on his "Happy Hour" show at 3:00 on WKNR

Rich in Medina said...

Having lived in Detroit many years before returning here, I have to say that of all the Detroit sportcasters and play by play guys, McLeod is probably the best. I also thought he either is a native of Cleveland or went to school here. As far as the hint for the replacement for Joe Tait(hopefully many years from now), are you referring to Matt Deery? I can't think of other Detroiters with Cleveland ties.

Anonymous said...

Is Reghi still going to be on 43 or no?

Anonymous said...

Kenny Roda made it sound today like Nev Chandler was fired from the Browns broadcasts in his heyday. I for one could not stand listening to Reghi do any sport. He is absolutely terrible at any sport. I don't know how Kenny Roda can have any credibility when he says Michael Reghi was one of the top broadcasters in the NBA. Reghi is and always will be terrible.

Anonymous said...

Dery does a pretty good job as the Pistons pre and post voice and would be a great replacement for Tait...WHEN he decides to RETIRE. To even think about getting rid of Tait is nothing short of blasphemous.

Ohio Media Watch said...

I gotta agree.

Touch Joe Tait, Mr. Gilbert, and you risk touching the Third Rail of Cleveland Sports Broadcasting.

Joe should be calling the Cavaliers' games until A) he decides, on his own, to retire to that horse farm in Lafayette Township, Medina County or B) he is physically unable to do the broadcasts, as in he doesn't have a voice.

I suspect Mr. Gilbert knows this already, but we'd be more than happy to remind him.

I also heard Kenny Roda's rants about Reghi's dismissal today.

IMHO, he let his personal friendship with the man get in the way of an objective show.

I've never been a huge Reghi fan. I think his voice has a bit of an affectation - he tries to be an announcer, in other words, a little too hard. When he shuts that off, he's better.

He's OK, and did a serviceable job on the Cavs TV broadcasts.

But he's not in the same universe as Joe Tait, IMHO. The kind of show Kenny Roda did today would be the kind of show I would expect (and demand!) if it was Joe Tait on the Cavs chopping block.

-OMW, only my opinion