WKYC won’t bring back Bernie Kosar


Legendary Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has been dumped from the team’s preseason TV broadcasts.  He wants back in.

The folks who yanked him off the air say it won’t be happening.

“No, the decision has been made,” president and general manager of WKYC-TV Brooke Spectorsky told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  “We feel it’s a very good decision for our viewers and for our production.  We have to freshen things up too as the team is changing.  It’s a whole different year going forward, and I didn’t want to do the same old production I’ve done for so many years.”

Spectorsky rejected the claim that the decision flows from Kosar’s concussion-related slurred-speech impediment.

“First of all, we love Bernie,” Spectorsky said.  “Nowhere in our discussions has anything been reviewed about his impairment due to concussions or whatever.  That has nothing to do with it.  What it has to do with is that the Browns are rebuilding their team, and in reviewing our programming, we’re changing up an awful lot of our programming, and we felt there was a better role for Bernie doing other things than just doing four preseason games.”

Spectorsky claims Bernie actually will be doing more, not less, now that he’s out of the booth.  (That’s also known as the “Jaworski scenario.”)

“Bernie having a bigger role in all of the new Browns programming that’s being done, meaning TV, radio, online, is a much more valuable role and will enable him to stay involved for a longer part of the season,” Spectorsky said.  “We’ve talked to him about all of that.  It’s in Bernie’s hands.  The Browns were here and I was here and he knows exactly what they’re talking about.  There’s lots of room for discussion if he wants to do something else, except he’s not going to be the color analyst on preseason games.”

Yep, it sounds like Kosar is getting a promotion.  Which in turn sounds like Spectorsky and the Browns are trying a little too hard to justify the move.

The concern likely isn’t litigation.  As demonstrated by Bill Livingston’s column in Friday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer, it’s the fans.  They love Kosar like a family member, and they’re still largely ambivalent about the guy who bought the team nearly two years ago.

WKYC now hopes the fans will take to Solomon Wilcots, who will handle the analysis of the Browns’ preseason games.  Last year, he worked six Browns regular-season games for CBS.

“We felt that Solomon would bring a different level to the team and we wanted more continuity between the preseason games and regular-season games,” Spectorsky said.

But there’s no guarantee Wilcots will work many (or any) Browns games in 2014 and beyond.  Especially if the new-look Browns are successful and their games end up being handled by crews that rank higher on the CBS broadcasting priority.

Besides, Wilcots isn’t a Brown.  During his six-year NFL career, the closest he came to being a Brown was being a Bengal and a Steeler.  Which actually will make it worse, not better, for Browns fans.

So it’s one thing to remove a beloved former player from the booth.  It’s another to replace him with a guy whose only connection to the team is that he once played them twice per year with two of the Browns’ arch-rivals.

24 responses to “WKYC won’t bring back Bernie Kosar

  1. It’s true. We love Bernie. The Browns didn’t draft him. He drafted the Browns. He is fallible and has had many struggles but he never gives up and quietly strives to get back up when he falls. And all he keeps doing for Cleveland is give back, give back, give back.

    We just want him around.

  2. There has been a problem and shortage of quality TV commentators and it’s good to see that some networks are finally starting to clean house and strive to find better people that can come up with intelligent and interesting things to say. I like hearing about the fresh approach, that sounds really encouraging. Who is next to be replaced?

  3. Don’t be surprised if in a few days, one of the players Mike Pettine’s dad coached in high school emerges as Bernie’s replacement. He IS the godfather of the Browns, afterall.

  4. Not to mention the fact that Soloman Wilcots is a terrible color guy. He never adds anything useful and he plays favorites with certain teams. Its the preseason, if you didn’t want Bernie in there why not find someone else with Browns or Cleveland ties instead of someone with the worst possible background as a steeler and bengal.

  5. The Guy knows the game. He told what happened, what when wrong during a play, and why it went wrong! He knew what teams were going to run when they were lining up to the Line of Scrimmage. I will miss his knowledge of the game. He definitely knows the game.

    Good Luck Bernie,
    All Cleveland Fans!

  6. It’s too bad his concussions have led to slurred speech, which at times is hard to listen too. If you can get past that, his knowledge of football is amazing. I’m surprised no team has ever brought him in as a consultant to breakdown film. Many times he knows where the ball is going to before the snap. Hopefully KYC will use him in their pre and postgame shows. He is one of the smartest football minds around.

  7. Solomon is good. Real good. Bob Golic is HORRIBLE. I mean, as Charles Barkley would say, “Turrible.” Rizzo is STILL talking about Bernie, I know, that’s his freind. But friends don’t let friends keep trying to drive a train off the tracks, and if they do they aren’t good friends.

    Bernie knows the game, but he’s god issues, real ones, and it cost him a job. I had no issue with what Kosar said about the Rams back-up QB Kellen Clemens last year. I actually thought part of it was on point and funny, though he should have stopped after, “Bless me father for I have sinned. I have to watch him the whole fourth quarter.”

    I’m a Browns fan through and through, but if you say and do dumb stuff while working a high profile prosition while working for someone else who must constantly address your behavior then will not have that job long. Talent trumps baggage. Maybe Charles Barkley could have gotten away with what Bernie said, but talent trumps baggage, and, to quote the movie Ray, Bernie’s “slip was showing,” and now he has time to work on covering it up. Solomon Wilcots is a great replacement who truly knows the game, maybe not from a QB’s perspective, but he knows the game.

  8. Like Jerry Rice, once you definitively lose the battle versus the English language, your time in the media should be up.*

    *Did not apply to Pat Summerall or Dan Dierdorf for some reason.

  9. Continuity, LOL. You don’t want Wilcots calling your regular season games. It likely means your team has earned the broadcasting “C Team” since they suck.

    As a Jag Fan, I have heard nothing but Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots for the last 6 or 7 years.

    I heard life was fair dammit.

  10. IRL I cover high school sports play-by-play on the radio, so this bit is speaking from personal experience. Teams don’t necessarily need a former player or coach as their color guy. It helps earn the fans trust, but it doesn’t guarantee anything beyond that.

    Chemistry with the play-by-play guy, the ability to analyze what is happening, and the ability to translate that analysis to laymen, is all way more important than whether or not someone played for a team or coached them.

    Rich Gannon on the Packers preseason broadcasts is a good example.

  11. Bernie has a great knowledge of the game but I think the higher ups had a problem with how he delivered that knowledge IMO.

  12. Listen Cleveland fans, we have Jim Donovan, one of the best play-by-play guys in the biz. Heck, since Nev Chandler, he is great calling the games. When I had cable, I would turn the sound down and have Donovan call the games from the radio, of course with DirecTv and their satelite delay that is no longer possible.

    Either way, yes, Bernie is no longer calling games, but we still have Jim Donovan on the broadcasts so everything will be fine. Yes, Solomom calls the games for the sorry teams like Cleveland and Jacksonville, but we still have our Cleveland guy in Donovan

  13. Do the Browns do anything right?


    This marks the second time that the Browns have kicked Bernie “where the sun don’t shine”

    The Factory of Sadness nickname has been well earned to this point but this is definitely a new low.

  14. Maybe you didn’t like his work, but Dierdorf’s command of the English language was stellar.

  15. Bad move, WKYC. Preseason games suck anyway and the only reason most of us didn’t turn the TV off and the radio on after the first quarter was Bernie.

    Solomon Wilcots? Really? You think Solomon Wilcots is an improvement over Bernie???
    Because, if that’s the “new look” the Browns are going for…not so awesome.

  16. Love how all of these “out of towners” who have never heard (obviously, btw) Bernie call a game feel free to opine on what it takes to be in the booth.

  17. Another stupid move by the Browns. Boring as pre-season games are, Bernie’s analysis brought good insight to the game and helped viewers evaluate some of the new guys.
    His analysis was brutally honest and that is probably why the Browns sacked him. They want cheerleaders like Donovan as their mouthpiece. That’s what years of losing does to you.

  18. Wilcotts is awful, almost as bad as Charles Davis. Maybe by the end of a full preseason schedule, he’ll be able to pronounce our guys’ names right. But I’m not holding my breath

  19. We need to start a letter-writing (yes, snail mail) campaign to Jimmy Haslam, in care of the Browns, at Browns Stadium. We also need to start writing letters to WKYC, letting them know how we feel and the fact that we’re going to write to their advertisers and threatening them with boycotts….especially the local merchants. Then, we need to write the various sponsors and let them know, we will boycott their products or services until Bernie is back. Then, we go to (or call) the local sponsors and demonstrate the fact that we will boycott them as long as a former Bengal or Steeler is taking Bernie’s job.

    The power rests with us and our dollars. Write letters and boycott these sponsors!!!

  20. Bernie out and a Bengal in lolololololol.

    They should get Boomer for a three man booth.

    Figures you would oh for the Bengal. After all your team is named after us.

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