SBD/January 26, 2012/Media

Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi Dropped From Browns Beat After Tweet About Randy Lerner

Grossi loses Browns beat over
inadvertant tweet about Lerner
Tony Grossi is “no longer the Browns beat writer” for the Cleveland Plain Dealer after he "accidently" sent out a disparaging tweet last week about Browns Owner Randy Lerner, according to sources cited by Vince Grzegorek of the CLEVELAND SCENE WEEKLY. Grossi wrote of Lerner, "He is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world." Sources said Lerner and the Browns "had zero to do with" Grossi losing his beat, as the Plain Dealer "acted independently." Grzegorek wrote there was “an obvious question whether he could objectively continue to cover the beat” (CLEVESCENE.com, 1/25). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio noted the Plain Dealer last week “addressed the issue [on] its website,” Cleveland.com. The paper put out a statement that read, "Last night, Plain Dealer Browns beat reporter Tony Grossi made an inadvertent, inappropriate post to Twitter concerning Browns owner Randy Lerner. Grossi has reached out to Lerner to apologize. The Plain Dealer also apologizes.” Grossi also addressed the situation in a video podcast, saying, “It was inadvertent, it was inappropriate, and I do apologize for it. I’ve reached out to Randy Lerner to apologize to him for it and we’ll just leave it at that.” Florio noted Grossi “apparently intended to express his opinion privately to one of his Twitter followers, but he accidentally posted it onto his primary Twitter profile, which can be viewed publicly” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/25). Florio today reports Plain Dealer Managing Editor Thom Fladung confirmed to Cleveland's WKRK-FM that Grossi "has been removed" from the beat. However, the paper "has yet to make an announcement, with Grossi's name and face still appearing on the paper's web page that is devoted to coverage of the team" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/26). The N.Y. Post's Bart Hubbuch wrote on his Twitter feed, "I hope Browns fans know how good they had it with Tony Grossi on the beat for almost 30 years. Great writer who knows his football." The Rock Hill Herald's Darin Gantt wrote, "The @TonyGrossi situation hits a raw nerve with me. Bottom line, Browns fans less informed, worse off today. Congrats PD bosses. Sleep well."

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS: Bruins G Tim Thomas earlier this week chose to pass on the Bruins’ Stanley Cup ceremony at the White House, and TSN’s Dave Hodge on his Twitter feed wrote, “Don't know if it's fair to point this out, but Tim Thomas has three children named Kiley, Kelsey and Keegan.” The GLOBE & MAIL’s Bruce Dowbiggin writes the initials are “KKK,” and by Thomas “espousing a libertarian view, Hodge seemed to imply the goalie sympathizes with a racist organization.” He then used the names of Thomas’ kids “to make the point.” Hodge in an e-mail wrote, “As you are aware, my tweets are almost always satirical, sometimes provocative and admittedly designed to elicit reaction. This tweet was no different.” But TSN President Stewart Johnston in an e-mail wrote, “Just to be clear, yesterday we corroborated Dave’s follow-up tweets that clarified his intention was not to offend, and be humorous. While I believe 100 % in the sincerity of Dave’s intent, I also believe the tweet was in poor taste” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/26).
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