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Lerner's Ownership Isn't Changing

If the Browns are about to be sold, Randy Lerner doesn't know anything about it. For several days, television station WOIO (Channel 19) had been promoting a "shocking" news story that Lerner could be ready to sell the team. Lerner quickly fired back by contacting WKYC's (Channel 3) Romona Robinson via telephone.

"I can definitely, positively, and categorically say that the Cleveland Browns are NOT up for sale," said Lerner to Robinson. "There is no letter that I know of stating that fact. I adore this team. I am working feverishly to make this a better team, and you can quote me."

If you remember correctly, WOIO signed a deal with the Browns last year to have the primary rights to broadcasting certain Browns programming, including having the ability to have extensive media coverage during training camp and the postseason. They were about to do the same thing this season, when they decided to air a ridiculous phone call involving Lerner's family. It didn't really come as a surprise to viewers, since WOIO intends to have a reputation for "taking risks" or "having an edge". Lerner was fumed at the station for intentionally airing the story, and promptly cut off all ties with them and signed a new television deal with Fox Sports Net Ohio and WKYC. Lerner knows that the false story that WOIO is promoting is simply another act of so called "payback".

"There are no plans to sell this team," stated Lerner. "I have never met with anyone, never corresponded with anyone to sell the Cleveland Browns. I have had several offers over the years, but turned them down. They have gone on a steady mission to try to embarrass or denigrate me and the Cleveland Browns. I have never spoken with anyone from Channel 19, and I have no idea where this story came from."

As soon as I saw the promos for the story, I immediately tuned it out. I don't consider WOIO to be a respectable source, because they fabricate every tiny thing under the sun to try and get a boost in ratings and make things seem more interesting. Now, if I had heard the story on the other three major local news stations (WKYC, WEWS, or WJW), then I may have believed there was some merit behind the stories.

Also, according to some viewers, Lerner stated on WKYC last night that he is interested in the Browns selecting LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the third/fourth overall pick, but will support whatever decision that the staff below him makes. Although I'm not saying the Browns don't have an interest in Russell, I'm sure that Lerner wanted to voice this out there to stir the pot a little to possible provoke a trade once they are on the clock in April.