Editors Note: This is the first in a 3 part series on why the local sports media in Cleveland is awful. Slightly inspired by a feature at Deadspin entitled "Why your hometown columnist sucks".
One of the reason's I got into the blog scene was because I was searching for a sports outlet in Cleveland that wasn't horrible. Sure, you can get your standard "breaking sports news" and 30 second updates, but I couldn't really find a place to go to get a feel for what intelligent people really thought. This 3 part series chronicles why Our Local Media Sucks.
First off, there's only two stations that talk sports in cleveland. That's it, two. And since one is a newsradio station and only occasionally talks sports (but they carry all the games), we really only have one full-time station (WKNR). That station is horrible. I can remember back in the 90's when they carried the Indians game they did a very respectable job, but the lineup they put out there now is just repulsive. The fact that their main guy (pictured above) sits there and gives us his take about the Browns when he is a DIEHARD St***ers fan should eliminate they from any further talk. But of course, being the drones that we are we still tune in to listen to this idiot speak. The fact that anyone listens to Kenny Roda is a slap in the face to all real Cleveland fans. The other annoying thing about this station is that they feel the need to constantly tear down the Cleveland teams because their rival station carries them. It's so ridiculous, every move any team makes is always ripped hardcore, and in general they always make the coaches/upper management out to be fools. Just terrible.
On the other hand, you have WTAM which is the flagship station to our Browns, Cavs, and Tribe. They put on a much more professional, and better sounding broadcast, but the problem is their sports-talk has become almost non-existant. Triv, who made his name as the Sports "Mr. Know-it-all" only talks about how everyone should agree with the President now. Like him or hate him, he at least was entertaining when he was doing sportstalk, and he did bring viewpoints to the table outside of "Dilfer Sucks." The other sports hosts on WTAM are actually very good though, unfortunately they are relagated to pre/post game shows only. Kevin Keane is probably my favorite just because of the passion he brings to the table, and he is "one of us".
Basically what it boils down to is you have one station that carries the game so they make all of the teams out to be better then they are, and another station that doesn't want you to listen to the games so they tear apart our teams on every move. There is no real discussion, and anything insightful is rarely brought to the table. Not to mention the fact that most callers to radio shows are idiots. It's a well known fact that most intelligent people rarely call in to these shows.
With that said, we are at a pretty big disadvantages to other cities in this regard. There is a radio publication that puts out it's list of the top X number of sports stations in the country, and no Cleveland station has been on it for years. I can remember back in the mid-90's when WKNR carried the Tribe and were actually a pretty good station that used to be nationally recognized. That being said, I used to be an avid listener of the radio stations in Cleveland, and I still will tune in every once it a while, but for the most part I can't stand to listen for more than a few minutes. It's a sad state of affairs, up next: The Print Media.