SBD/Issue 202/Sports Media

Browns End Deal With TV Partner After Station Airs 911 Call

The Browns last Thursday terminated their relationship with WOIO-CBS, three days after the station aired the 911 tape of Browns Owner Randy Lerner’s sister, Nancy Fisher, finding her six-year-old daughter drowned in a creek, according to Tony Grossi of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. WOIO “was the only station to air the gruesome portion of Fisher’s emergency call.” The Browns were entering the second year of a three-year deal with WOIO, which reportedly paid the team $2M annually. Browns VP/Communications Bill Bonsiewicz “confirmed the team is looking for a new station to air its four preseason games and other programming throughout the season,” but “declined to elaborate on the reason for the abrupt switch.” WOIO GM Bill Applegate could not be reached for comment. Grossi writes the airing of the 911 call “was the last straw in a relationship that was rocky from the start,” noting that neither party “was satisfied with local ratings” for Saturday and Monday night Browns programming (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 7/18).

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CBS, Cleveland Browns, Media, Viacom

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