By Tom Reed
The Browns are changing radio homes in Cleveland and it will include unprecedented triple coverage on game days.
Multiple sources have told The Plain Dealer the Browns are entering into a long-term deal to have their games broadcast on WKNR 850/AM, WKRK 92.3/FM and WNCX 98.5/FM. The franchise’s games had been aired on Clear Channel Communication stations since they returned in 1999.
The Browns, who declined comment, are expected to make an announcement today, a source said.
The most unusual aspect of the agreement is that WKNR (ESPN) and WKRK (CBS) are rival sports talk stations. They entered into negotiations with the Browns bidding against each other, a source said, but at some point decided to join forces against Clear Channel, which had broadcast Browns games on flagship WMMS 100.7/FM and simulcast on WTAM 1100/AM.
Negotiations for the deal began to heat up in January, a source said, not long after the Browns hired new team president Alec Scheiner. The agreement allows the Browns to be aired on AM and FM stations without worries of a conflict with Indians games. That occasionally was a problem on WTAM.
WNCX is added to the mix as it as a CBS Radio affiliate with WKRK. Representatives from WKNR nor WKRK could not be reached for comment.
As part of the agreement, the Browns are expected to double their programming hours from 500 to 1,000, a source said. There will be a Rob Chudzinski coach’s show and the Cleveland Browns Daily Show will expand from one hour to two hours on WKNR.
On game days WKNR — owned by Good Karma Broadcasting — will host a four-hour pre-game show, a source said, while WKRK follows with a two-hour post-game show.
Browns play-by-play man Jim Donovan and analyst Doug Dieken will continue to anchor the radio broadcasts.