Two Fer Tuesday

And we’re back for a Two-Fer Tuesday!

(OK, so we never have said that phrase, ever, on-air or off…there’s a first time for everything! And we do have two items, and it is Tuesday as we write this…)

APARTMENT FIRE KILLS MAN, AND…: One of Cleveland’s top news stories this Tuesday morning was the fire at a downtown Cleveland apartment building, which killed the resident of one apartment.

WOIO/19’s “19 Action News” reports that the fire was contained to the 13th floor apartment of the victim, 27 year-old Brett McDavid, though a water main break sent water into the basement of the building. Mr. McDavid had apparently started cooking, and left it unattended.

Now, we’re not a general news source, and don’t usually talk about fatal apartment fires…but this is a local media story as well.

We also don’t generally cite or link to “19 Action News” for information, but the CBS affiliate and co-owned MyNetwork TV outlet WUAB/43 were actually part of the story this morning – since the apartment was in a certain downtown Cleveland apartment/hotel/office building we have mentioned here often:

19 Action News Studios are located in the basement of Reserve Square and were off-air for approximately an hour.

14 stories below, WOIO/WUAB still got dumped on…by a water main break that happened in the effort to fight the fire above.

When we first heard the story, we wondered if the victim had been an employee of the local Raycom Media stations – with an elevator ride comprising his commute to work.

We were close, says “19 Action News”:

19 Action News has learned McDavid worked as a bartender at Scorchers – a bar restaurant inside Reserve Square.

Since the sports bar is just above WOIO, and has been the home of 19’s non-official Cleveland Browns pre-game coverage, he probably ran into more than one station staffer at some point.

Our condolences to Mr. McDavid’s family…

FOXY BROWNS: While watching the Browns lose to the World Champion New York Football Giants in last night’s pre-season contest, we found out the local TV disposition of some of the team’s national games.

The game on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” was aired locally by Local TV-owned FOX affiliate WJW/8 “FOX 8” in Cleveland.

NFL rules require all non-broadcast games to be offered to TV stations in the two teams’ home markets…and that’s a Big Deal this year because the Browns have five prime-time games in 2008, four of them airing on ESPN or the NFL Network. (The fifth is an NBC “Sunday Night Football” contest that’ll air locally on NBC affiliate WKYC/3.)

Right at the end of the WJW-produced “Kickoff Countdown”, FOX 8’s Tony Rizzo announced that all of the ESPN “Monday Night Football” games involving the Browns will air on WJW.

A quick check of the Browns’ website schedule shows that’ll include the October 13th regular season contest with the very same Giants at Cleveland Browns Stadium, along with two road games – November 17th at Buffalo, and December 15th at Philadelphia.

Rizzo didn’t mention a regular season FOX contest that WJW gets anyway, due to its network affiliation: the team’s opener on September 7th against the Dallas Cowboys. With the FOX-favorite Cowboys and a 4:15 PM (ET) start, that’s likely to be seen by most of the country.

With the ESPN games on FOX 8, and the September 14th “Sunday Night Football” Browns/Steelers game on WKYC via its NBC affiliation, that leaves one prime-time Browns game unaccounted for – the Thursday night, November 6th home game against the Denver Broncos, which will be aired nationally on the NFL Network.

We’d assume that if WJW picked up the rights to that game, they’d have trumpeted it on Sunday night along with listing the ESPN contests. So, either someone else bought the local rights to that game, or the local carrier hasn’t been announced yet. (Or, we’ve missed it if it has been.)

The game WILL be aired by one of the local network affiliates, due to the aforementioned NFL rules.

And Browns fans can be thankful for those rules, because there’s still no deal in sight between NFL Network and the dominant local cable provider, Time Warner Cable. The NFL Network folks won’t be able to use the game as leverage, since those rules mean it WILL air in the Cleveland TV market on an over-air station.

The two remaining Browns pre-season contests will air on WKYC, as part of the station’s rights deal with the local NFL team.

WKYC’s Jim Donovan will return to doing TV play-by-play for those two games.

Donovan was heard back at his perch as the Radio Voice of the Browns on Sunday night on the Browns Radio Network, hubbed at Clear Channel rock WMMS/100.7, and also heard Sunday night on talk WTAM/1100, which carries the team’s games when there’s no conflict with the Cleveland Indians…


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