Browns again get nod on TV
YOUNGSTOWN -- Last December, management of WKBN Channel 27 heard from Browns fans when the station chose to televise a Steelers game that had playoff implications over a Cleveland game that meant nothing to the postseason picture.
WKBN's phones were swamped with calls from angry Browns fans who couldn't see Butch Davis' troops whip the Titans in Tennessee on the local CBS affiliate.
Although the same situation could happen again, WKBN general manager Roland Adeszko doesn't think any of the Browns' 16 games will be blacked out locally.
Because the Steelers have four prime-time dates and the Browns one, there are only four CBS conflicts for Channel 27 this fall when the Browns and Steelers play at the same time: Oct. 27 (Browns at Jets, Steelers at Ravens), Nov. 17 (Browns at Bengals, Steelers at Titans), Nov. 24 (Browns at Saints, Steelers vs. Bengals) and Dec. 8 (Browns at Jaguars, Steelers vs. Texans).
At this time, Channel 27 plans to show the Browns games on those dates.
"However, if there is some playoff factor that would make the Pittsburgh game more attractive, the network and the NFL may reconsider giving us the Browns on those dates," Adeszko said.
Unless the Browns get off to a horrible start, both teams should still be in contention in the AFC North Division race.
That means Browns fans should be able to see every moment of every game this fall. And Steeler fans would see 75 percent of their games.
Several things are new this fall when Mahoning Valley radio stations begin their football seasons Thursday.
On the college front, Youngstown State University football games have jumped from Y-103 (WYFM-FM 102.9) to simulcasts on Clear Channel's WNIO-AM 1390 and WBBG-FM 106.1.
Bob Hannon of WYTV Channel 33 remains the radio play-by-play announcer. Replacing Y-103's John Batcho as analyst will be Dick Hartzell, formerly Jim Campbell's analyst on Radio 57's (WKBN-AM 570) high school broadcasts.
The sideline reporter will be Steve Sefner, once the radio voice of the Penguins. For the past eight years, Sefner was play-by-play announcer for Kent State University.
Fox 17/62 will televise all six YSU home games on tape-delay. Robb Schmidt, Channel 27's sports director, will be the play-by-play announcer, with former Penguin all-American offensive tackle Todd Kollar serving as analyst.
On the high school scene, Clear Channel has expanded its coverage with a third station, Big 106.1 (WBBG-FM 106.1), broadcasting games.
Clear Channel's Radio 57 and WNIO slates will feature mostly Steel Valley Conference teams.
Campbell remains the Radio 57 play-by-play announcer. Phil Annarella, who coached at Warren Harding, Rayen and Hickory, will be the analyst, while Ryan Donchess will be the field reporter.
Jim Evans again will call the games on WNIO, with former YSU quarterback Mark Brungard the analyst and Vince Pellegrini on the sidelines.
Larry Miklas will be the Big 106.1 play-by-play announcer when that station features Metro Athletic Conference and Trumbull Athletic Conference teams. Poland softball coach Reid Lamport will be the analyst and Scott Chronister will be sideline reporter.
The Radio Center's WBBW-AM 1240, the former home of MAC broadcasts, will feature teams from the TAC, Inter-County League and Tri-County League.
WBBW has 19 regular-season games scheduled over the next 10 weekends. John Caparanis will be the play-by-play announcer and Harry Paidis the analyst.
Are you ready?
XTom Williams is a sportswriter for The Vindicator. Write him at email@example.com.