Late Afternoon Followup

More on some of the below stories, and others:

BROWNS CONTRACT: So, it is official…Raycom Media’s WOIO/19 won’t be the “Official Home of the Browns” anymore…and it happened sooner than most expected, with the pre-season games airing on another station even this year.

That’ll be a tough order, as pre-season contest number one is just nine days away, August 10th against the Philadelphia Eagles.

If OMW had money to bet, and could bet, we’d still be at the window for WEWS/5. The ABC affiliate has all but drooled at the feet of Browns owner Randy Lerner, making the team’s flap with WOIO headline news on its own newscasts. We didn’t see it, but we’re told WEWS broke into programming today to air news of the demise of the WOIO deal.

Second on the list would likely be Gannett’s WKYC/3. The NBC affiliate has some obstacles, including its Cleveland Indians commitment.

Though the pre-season games could air on WKYC without disrupting the station’s own Indians schedule, they’re also tied up with SportsTime Ohio…which, as we reported last week, will NOT be an official cable partner of the team. That rules out a joint WKYC/STO bid, and could make the economics more difficult for WKYC and Gannett.

Still, Channel 3 would be a strong bidder. To us, though, the expectation from the team that they’ll be able to announce a new deal as soon as Thursday leads us to believe someone’s already got the inside track…and again, that takes us back to Channel 5.

WJW/8 is likely not in the running, from what we’ve heard. They’ll probably submit a perfunctory proposal, but this corner would be surprised if FOX 8 was the winner in this race…

ABOUT BOB, AND SAM, AND JIM: Plain Dealer sportswriter Tony Grossi’s story on the Browns/WOIO settlement has an interesting line in it:

It is believed that the announcing team for the preseason games will be Sam Rosen and ex-Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, no matter which station airs them.

As OMW reported earlier, the name of former Browns Radio Network analyst and TV sportscaster Jim Mueller was raised in a story by the Lake County News-Herald’s Jeff Schudel last week.

Whether it’s Mueller or Rosen (or both) joining Kosar in the TV booth this pre-season – one name that is NOT being kicked around is that of Bob Golic.

To that end, it was interesting to hear WNIR/100.1 afternoon news anchor Phil Ferguson read news of the Browns/WOIO contract settlement this afternoon.

You could almost hear it in his voice when he said “No word on what this means for local pre-season games”…you could almost see him looking up at Golic, who, of course, is the afternoon drive talk host on the Akron market talk station.

Golic wasn’t taking the bait, at least from what we’ve heard of his show today.

Our guess – the former Browns defensive star is no longer in the pre-season TV picture as far as the games are concerned. But Golic will probably end up doing a lot of work for WOIO’s Browns coverage…which will now go on without the team’s official stamp on it…

MORE JAVA: OMW hears that listeners to Clear Channel top 40 WAKS/96.5 “Kiss FM” will once again hear the radio stylings of “Java Joel” Murphy tonight. He’s the former Kiss nighttime voicetracker who was heard last night on WAKS.

Like when Kiss APD/MD/afternoon driver Kasper returned from a brief stint at “Q102” in Philadelphia, the return of Murphy – or at least his voice – would probably be well received by Kiss FM listeners. This time, OMW presumes whoever gets the gig would be in-house at the Clear Channel World Domination HQ on Oak Tree.

At this point, we don’t know who’s got the inside track among those auditioning to take the slot vacated by “J-NIICE”. He’s headed for Miami to join former WAKS program director Dan Mason at WHYI/Y100…

ONE MORE: And yes, the Browns/WOIO settlement was one of our two “waiting” items. OMW had word late Monday that a settlement was in the offing after today’s Common Pleas Court ruling. The only waiting, we presume, was to craft the dollar amount based on the outcome.

The other one is “still out there”, and nothing’s been released yet. We’ll “break in”, as it were, when we find out…

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