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Plain Dealer confirms Grossi’s removal from Browns beat

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I’ve got a lot to say about the decision of the Cleveland Plain Dealer to remove Tony Grossi from the Browns beat based on a marginally insulting public entry on Twitter regarding owner Randy Lerner (pictured) that was apparently meant to be a private direct message.

For now, I’ll keep it short because PFT Live is looming at 12:00 p.m. ET. And because I’ll be on radio in Cleveland at 11:20 a.m. ET to discuss the situation in further detail. (Listen live to 92.3 right here.)

The managing editor of the Plain Dealer, Thom Fladung, appeared on that same station earlier today to confirm that Grossi has been removed from the Browns beat. But the newspaper has yet to make an announcement, with Grossi’s name and face still appearing on the paper’s web page that is devoted to coverage of the team.

That inconsistency alone suggests an operation consisting of something other than chicken salad.

As you’ll hear if you listen at 11:20, I disagree with the decision. And while there’s still no evidence to suggest that the Browns have pressured the Plain Dealer to make the move, there’s also no evidence to suggest that the Browns have encouraged the Plain Dealer to accept Grossi’s explanation and apology and move on.

In the end, Lerner has an opportunity to be magnanimous and thick-skinned, by publicly forgiving Grossi and urging Plain Dealer to keep him on the beat he has covered for so long. Here’s hoping Lerner does that, and that even if he doesn’t the Plain Dealer ultimately allows Grossi to continue to do that which, according to their managing editor on 92.3 this very morning, Grossi does very well.