WOIO Wants to Talk to Mom

In the ongoing saga of Raycom Media’s WOIO/19 and its loss of the Browns pre-season contract, the next reported move of the local CBS affiliate is to try to talk to Randy Lerner’s mother.

Cleveland Plain Dealer sports/media columnist Roger Brown reports that WOIO/WUAB general manager Bill Applegate is seeking a meeting with Norma Lerner, mother of Browns owner Randy Lerner, and widow of late owner Al Lerner…in an effort to stop the loss of Browns rights.

We aren’t very good with business protocol, frankly. But to us, this sounds almost like a move of desperation on WOIO’s part…and how will trying to “go over the head” of Randy Lerner by appealing to his mother help?

Besides, we’d guess that she’d possibly be even more incensed about the station’s airing of that 911 call than Randy would. What mother and grandmother is going to cut a tabloid TV station a break by overturning her son’s decision in a matter that greatly affects the family?

Brown also hints that WOIO “will take legal action” to try to stop the Browns from ending the team’s TV rights contract. Good luck with that, Reserve Square. See our earlier note about NFL lawyers…

Brown has no information regarding the market-wide rumors we heard yesterday…that Raycom Media executives hopped on a plane to Cleveland to talk about the Browns mess.

Our “gut feeling” prediction: If Bill Applegate is not able to pull a rabbit out of a hat and keep the Browns TV rights, Bill Applegate becomes the former general manager of “Cleveland’s CBS 19” and WUAB/43…

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