Pittsburgh Steelers / Cleveland Browns Radio Network Changes

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Nathan Obral 6 months ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #183784

    cbussteeler
    Member

    I see for the first time in over a decade, it appears that the Steelers Radio Network is not be airing in Columbus – WYTS is no longer listed as an affiliate and did not air the game last week.  I wonder if another station will pick up the games.

    While the Browns are still on WTOH in Columbus, their network has really shrunk – very few affiliates period.  Other than Columbus, they have no affiliates in Central Ohio, Dayton, or SE Ohio.

    #183791

    vjm1
    Participant

    When you look at it, Cleveland and Columbus are very intertwined sportswise:

    *The Indians’ AAA team is the Columbus Clippers
    *The Blue Jackets’ top minor league affiliate is the Cleveland (formerly Lake Erie) Monsters
    *Cleveland is the biggest Buckeye town in the state (after C-Bus obviously)…just look at all the Cleveland area high school football talent that plays at the Horseshoe every Saturday
    *The Cavs play yearly preseason games in C-Bus

    Because of that, C-Bus is a Browns town, and the Steelers have basically ceded it to them.

    Sadly though, the Browns look to have ceded SE Ohio to the Steelers (including Youngstown if you wanna stretch it), and Dayton is considered Bengals territory.

    #183802

    schmave
    Participant

    I partly agree with this. The Steelers have not ceded Columbus to the Browns because they never owned it in the first place. Columbus has always been a Browns town dating to the days when the Browns were the only local team. Fifty years of having the Bengals right down the road has changed that. People can quibble, but in my lifetime it’s always been 1) Browns, 2) Bengals, 3) Steelers and other teams with national fan bases (i.e. Cowboys and Packers) in this town.

    The Steelers have a vocal fan base, but they are a minority. The only reason there are as many of them here as there are is because of the number of transplants from eastern Ohio as well as the bandwagon fans who don’t root for any other Pittsburgh teams.

    But getting back on topic, as I said on another board, the Steelers appear to be a victim of iHeart steadily cutting the sports presence on WYTS. They have aired only Reds night games for the past two seasons (not a huge loss with the presence of WLW and Marysville’s WQTT nearby, but more the principle of the thing) and now have done this. With them refusing to air sports on WTVN and having only one sports station in the whole cluster, I don’t see this changing. Honestly, I would be surprised to see WYTS carrying the Reds next year. Baseball and that format do not mix in the least.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  schmave.
    #183805

    vjm1
    Participant

    I partly agree with this. The Steelers have not ceded Columbus to the Browns because they never owned it in the first place. Columbus has always been a Browns town dating to the days when the Browns were the only local team. Fifty years of having the Bengals right down the road has changed that. People can quibble, but in my lifetime it’s always been 1) Browns, 2) Bengals, 3) Steelers and other teams with national fan bases (i.e. Cowboys and Packers) in this town.

    The Steelers have a vocal fan base, but they are a minority. The only reason there are as many of them here as there are is because of the number of transplants from eastern Ohio as well as the bandwagon fans who don’t root for any other Pittsburgh teams.

    But getting back on topic, as I said on another board, the Steelers appear to be a victim of iHeart steadily cutting the sports presence on WYTS. They have aired only Reds night games for the past two seasons (not a huge loss with the presence of WLW and Marysville’s WQTT nearby, but more the principle of the thing) and now have done this. With them refusing to air sports on WTVN and having only one sports station in the whole cluster, I don’t see this changing. Honestly, I would be surprised to see WYTS carrying the Reds next year. Baseball and that format do not mix in the least.

    Never said the Steelers ever “owned” C-Bus, just that they tried to get a foothold in a town that has 3 teams within spitting distance, and have apparently given up the ghost.

    And you’re right about bandwagon fans…seeing NE Ohio natives waving “terrible towels”, and seeing Steeler flags in front of some homes around town makes my skin crawl.

    #183812

    schmave
    Participant

    Absolutely. Thing is, Columbus actually has *five* teams within 200 miles. It’s a quirk of our geography that depending on what side of town you’re on, you can be closer to Detroit, Indianapolis or Pittsburgh than either of the other two. Lions and Colts have never, ever developed any kind of a fan base here (for obvious reasons, IMO, having to do with both transplants and historic success).

    Steelers do air their preseason TV games here now on WCMH-Channel 4. I believe this is the third season that has been the case, which inevitably has led to confusion when those games now are blacked out on NFL Network (never were before, of course). I always thought they’d be a natural to air on Zanesville’s WHIZ as the number of Steelers fans climbs immensely the farther east from Columbus you go, but that’s never been the case.

    #183815

    cpsteinmetz
    Participant

    Four or five years ago the Browns starting charging smaller stations for the rights to carry their games. While the charge was nominal, it was more than many affiliates made selling game sponsorships so they promptly dropped the Browns. It was a sad day in many smaller markets.

    Additionally, carrying a game requires such a huge time commitment (2-4 hour pre-game AND a 2-4 hour post-game) that games suddenly become all day affairs. These extended pre/post-games are rating killers and most PDs in larger markets just wont stand for it.

    #183817

    schmave
    Participant

    Don’t most network pre- and post-games only run 60 to 90 minutes? I know there often are extended pre- and post for the flagships only.

    That said, yet another screw-up on the part of the Browns. Ridiculous.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  schmave.
    #183820

    vjm1
    Participant

    Don’t most network pre- and post-games only run 60 to 90 minutes? I know there often are extended pre- and post for the flagships only.

    That said, yet another screw-up on the part of the Browns. Ridiculous.

    Also, how many teams have a daily, 2-hour afternoon propaganda show like “Cleveland Browns Daily” as part of their network package, which is the main reason why WKNR is AM flagship – The Browns insisted on having an AM stick, and KNR was willing to sacrifice 10 hours a week for CBD.

    Remember, CBS/Entercom is the main rights holder and does most of the heavy lifting, with 850 as a tag along.

    When WTAM/WMMS had the Browns, it was 90 minutes both pre and postgame on the network, with WTAM doing local Browns stuff prior/after (similar to what they do now for Tribe/Cavs games – albeit on a smaller scale for those teams)

    #183825

    Nathan Obral
    Participant

    Four or five years ago the Browns starting charging smaller stations for the rights to carry their games. While the charge was nominal, it was more than many affiliates made selling game sponsorships so they promptly dropped the Browns. It was a sad day in many smaller markets.

    Additionally, carrying a game requires such a huge time commitment (2-4 hour pre-game AND a 2-4 hour post-game) that games suddenly become all day affairs. These extended pre/post-games are rating killers and most PDs in larger markets just wont stand for it.

    iHeart had such an acrimonious falling out with the Browns that, after WTAM/WMMS lost the flagship rights, they cancelled every Browns contract with all the affiliates they owned. That included WONE in Dayton, WCHI in Chillicothe, WMRN in Marion, WMAN AM/FM in Mansfield, WIOT in Toledo and WKBN in Youngstown. All markets that either saw a lower-tier replacement affiliate or, in the case of Dayton, Chillicothe, Marion and Toledo… no replacement at all.

    And can you blame other stations for balking at paying a fee to carry games for a team like this one?

    And yes, the Browns have a four-hour pregame. FOUR HOURS! It’s up to WKNR/850 to clear the whole damn thing, which not only screws them over from a ratings standpoint, but the pregame is pretty much dominated by talent from 92.3 The Fan. Even as WKNR’s Tony Rizzo and Je’Rod Cherry are co-hosts, they have to sit alongside their competition.

    Don’t most network pre- and post-games only run 60 to 90 minutes? I know there often are extended pre- and post for the flagships only.

    That said, yet another screw-up on the part of the Browns. Ridiculous.

    Also, how many teams have a daily, 2-hour afternoon propaganda show like “Cleveland Browns Daily” as part of their network package, which is the main reason why WKNR is AM flagship – The Browns insisted on having an AM stick, and KNR was willing to sacrifice 10 hours a week for CBD.

    Remember, CBS/Entercom is the main rights holder and does most of the heavy lifting, with 850 as a tag along.

    When WTAM/WMMS had the Browns, it was 90 minutes both pre and postgame on the network, with WTAM doing local Browns stuff prior/after (similar to what they do now for Tribe/Cavs games – albeit on a smaller scale for those teams)

    WKNR really got screwed over in this deal, while 92.3 and WNCX made off like bandits… neither of which has to carry the network pregame (which, again, is still almost entirely hosted by 92.3 talent and runs on WKNR) while the network postgame is a de facto local call-in show on 92.3 that’s carried network-wide. 92.3 doesn’t have to run the ratings-allergic Browns Daily except as a two-hour package buried on Saturday mornings with no promotion whatsoever. And all WNCX has to do is just carry the play-by-play.

    92.3 and WNCX have benefited considerably, to the point 92.3 holds their own in the ratings year-round and WNCX battles out WMJI for the top spot in 12+ and multiple key demos.

    WKNR? Well, they don’t subscribe to Nielsen, but they’ve lost a disturbing amount of talent and sales staff over the past two years and curtailed a lot of local programming on evenings and weekends. So draw your own conclusions. If Craig Karmazin doesn’t have buyers’ remorse for how he got big-time snookered in this deal (presuming the Browns don’t pay them to run CBD) I’d be surprised.

    Recorded in Ultra Stereo, the ultimately superior cousin to Normal Stereo!

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