The Cleveland Plain Dealer took Tony Grossi off the Browns beat in January after he sent a tweet that he thought was private that bashed Browns owner Randy Lerner. (“He is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.”)
Grossi announced on Twitter Wednesday that “after more than 30 years, I am leaving the Plain Dealer.” He added: “And thanks to Peyton Manning for stealing my thunder.”
Grossi’s Twitter bio now identifies him as Browns analyst for SportsTime Ohio. (He did work for them while at the Plain Dealer.) Multiple reports say WKNR-AM ESPN 850 will announce on Monday or earlier that it’s hired Grossi as its Browns beat reporter.
Grossi tells Romenesko readers:
I was fortunate to have an extraordinary career opportunity come my way at about the same time the Plain Dealer saw fit to “reassign” me. The timing was simultaneous and crazily coincidental. I can’t confirm what I’ll be doing and where at this time. But I will say it is so compellingly good that I would have leapt at it regardless of what happened at the PD. It will allow me to grow professionally in ways that are not possible in the newspaper business.
I want to take issue with something said by the PD ombudsman in one of your previous posts. He said at the time he got fewer responses about my “reassignment” than when the paper pulled a comic strip. All I will say is that person never wrote anything in his career that generated anywhere near the volume of mail that his company line column about me received. And 90 percent of it was negative.