I wish to comment on the racism that is occurring within the Cleveland sports media. No television station has a black person hosting a show or a segment. Fox Sports Ohio has Kendall Lewis being a sidekick to Les Levine, and Austin Carr and Campy Russell co-hosting Cavaliers programming. Occasionally, Roger Brown co-hosts Bruce Drennan’s show, ironically called “All Bets are Off” after his gambling conviction and jail sentence. Drennan gets a job opportunity while in jail and qualified black sports personalities can’t even get an interview. The other television stations don’t have any black sports reporters.
It gets worse. The radio stations do not have any blacks hosting a daily or weekly show. There are many black sports personalities that are more qualified that the hosts that are on those stations.
The on-air staff on WKNR can only be described as laughable. People such as Kenny Roda, Greg Brinda, Munch Bishop and Aaron Goldhammer hosts shows, while qualified announcers such as Austin Carr, Ronnie Duncan, Branson Wright, Roger Brown, Hanford Dixon, Skip Brown and Tony Jones can’t host a show on that station or any other.
That is a travesty. All of the announcers on WKNR1 and WKNR2 have the same preppy attitudes on sports. WTAM at least has Art McKoy hosting a show. However, only Andre Knott does sports on that station and that is primarily during the Browns season.
Also, the majority print media is not blameless. The Plain Dealer has two black sports writers, Branson Wright and Elton Alexander. However, their two columnists (Bill Livingston and Bud Shaw) share the same dim, blighted, disgruntled, bitter view. Sort of like “Archie Bunker on Sports.” You can interchange their names and you couldn’t tell the difference between their columns.
Roger Brown was at least a recognizable name at the Plain Dealer. People liked him or didn’t like him, but he did what a columnist should do: Provoke thought and reaction. Livingston and Shaw could disappear from the pages of the Plain Dealer and would not be missed by anyone except their friends and family.
Branson Wright covers the Cavs and Elton Alexander covers auto racing and local colleges. Outside of that, there aren’t any black sports reporters at the PD. Austin Carr, Campy Russell and Scott Williams co-host Cavs basketball programming at Fox Sports Ohio. Roger Brown and Andre Knott occasionally co-host with Bruce Drennan on STO. Andre also provides Browns coverage on WTAM. Hanford Dixon and Reggie Langhorne co-host Browns programming on WOIO. That’s about it.
For a city that is over 60 percent black, a football team that is about 60 percent black, and a basketball team that has a black coach and about 80 percent of the team black, this is reprehensible. The good-old boy network of Cleveland sports media needs to be dismantled. It would be refreshing to hear a different point-of-view. I know what I am talking about.
I am a part-time sports media personality in Cleveland. Plain Dealer reporter John Petkovic did an article about Tony Jones and me last November. The article reflected that a different opinion from a different perspective is refreshing. Give some of the qualified blacks an opportunity to present their perspectives. We will exceed all expectations! Our word is our bond.