Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sources: Tony Grossi Pulled from Browns Beat Over Randy Lerner Tweet (Updated)

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 5:26 PM

tony-grossi.jpg

Update II: PD Managing Editor Thom Fladung appeared on the Kiley and Booms show on 92.3 The Fan this morning. He commented on the Plain Dealer's decision to move Tony Grossi off the beat.

“He was not disciplined, but he's not covering the Browns,” Mr. Fladung said. “That tweet, from a Browns beat reporter, we felt and I felt very strongly, was inappropriate and unprofessional. It's not what a journalist covering a beat can express.

“What he tweeted was not an opinion, it was an insult. Tony was a very good beat writer, very successful, but there are lines. He crossed it.”

(Via Crain's)

***

Update: For those saying that Randy Lerner called for Tony Grossi to be moved off the beat, here's an update. Sources tell Scene that, "Randy Lerner and the Browns had zero to do with it. The Plain Dealer acted independently." They never asked the Browns' opinion. They acted internally.

***

Multiple sources tell Scene Tony Grossi is no longer the Browns beat writer for the Plain Dealer as of today.

Last week, Grossi accidentally tweeted the following about Randy Lerner: "He is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world." He has lost his post as a result of that.

He was in hot water with his editors and bosses at the PD over the inadvertent tweet, which displayed a huge bias — hatred even — toward the Browns' owner.

There was an obvious question whether he could objectively continue to cover the beat, the answer to which came when the Plain Dealer weighed in today with the move.

Managing Editor Thomas Fladung had no comment when reached by Scene.

We've emailed Tony Grossi for comment as well.

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