The Cleveland Browns and News 5, the team's official flagship TV station for preseason games and exclusive year-round programming, announced today that Cleveland-native Chris Rose, former Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas and established NFL reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala will be the voices of Cleveland's 2022 preseason games.
|at Jacksonville Jaguars||Aug. 12||7 p.m.||News 5|
|vs. Philadelphia Eagles||Aug. 21||1 p.m.||News 5|
|vs. Chicago Bears||Aug. 27||7 p.m.||News 5|
Rose enters the Browns-News 5 TV booth for the first time to cover play by play alongside Thomas, who made his debut as the production's main analyst last season. The duo will be supported with in-depth updates and interviews from Cleveland's sideline by Kinkhabwala, a veteran NFL reporter with decades of quality football experience.
"In 1984, I pretended to call a Browns-Chiefs game with my brother in our family room," said Rose, born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. "Now, I get a chance to live out a dream and call Browns preseason games with Joe and Aditi. I can't wait to bring such a passionate fan base all of the stories that will make the 2022 football journey so exciting. If you're a kid in Cleveland right now, dream big – it might just come true."
"I am stoked to be back in the booth for Browns preseason games," shared Thomas, who will be eligible for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time in 2023. "To be able to still be around the team and the fans is something that is very special for me. I take great pride in being able to represent this organization and the best fans in the NFL. I've known Chris Rose for a long-time and know that he has the same passion for the Orange and Brown as I do and I am looking forward to sharing the broadcast booth with him. Additionally, Aditi is one of the top NFL reporters and she will bring great insight from the sideline."
"Preseason football is an ideal time for storytelling. We get a glimpse of who we think a football team could be, and we get better acquainted with some of the new faces fans will be cheering on this coming fall," said Kinkhabwala, whose daughter, Kaya, was born in Cleveland as the Cornell graduate was covering the Browns in 2019. "I am so excited to get to do some of that storytelling this August with two of the most iconic voices in Cleveland: native son, Chris Rose and adopted son, Joe Thomas. Chris and I started talking about the Browns 10 years ago – when Joe was still suiting up! – and his enthusiasm for this team has been nothing but infectious. I will happily guarantee that we're going to have a blast calling these three games together."
A mainstay on NFL Network since 2012, Rose has a vast array of experience that also encompasses play-by-play responsibilities for FOX's NFL coverage, in-studio roles with FOX Sports and MLB Network and serving as the lead commentator for BattleBots dating back to 2015. Additionally, the Miami University graduate collaborated with the Browns in 2021 for compelling feature spotlights during the 2021 NFL Draft in Cleveland.
Thomas is currently an NFL Network analyst who contributes to various NFL Media programs, including as a member of the group's past Thursday Night Football productions. With the Browns, he was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection and played every offensive snap at left tackle (NFL-record 10,363 consecutive) during his 11-year career. He is a three-time Browns Walter Payton Man of the Year honoree (2010, 2012 and 2016), which recognizes a player's excellence in the community and on-field performance.
Kinkhabwala just closed a 10-year tenure with NFL Network. She is a host on CBS Sports' We Need To Talk and on both Sirius XM and local Pittsburgh radio, Kinkhabwala started her journalism career in newspapers, first covering high school football at the San Antonio Express-News and college sports at The Record in New Jersey before moving to the NFL beat at the Wall Street Journal. In April, Kinkhabwala supported Cleveland's 2021 NFL Draft coverage as a special contributor for TV, radio and website content.
Last season, News 5 carried two preseason games as the third matchup against Atlanta was broadcast to a national audience. Altogether, Browns preseason games in Cleveland ranked second for average household share and third in average household rating across NFL markets. All three preseason contests finished their respective weeks as the No. 1 TV program within the Cleveland DMA.
In 2019, Browns preseason games airing on News 5 posted a 20.5 average Nielsen household rating in the region, the sixth-highest such figure among NFL markets for that year.
The NFL did not host preseason games in 2020 due to COVID-19 protocols; however, News 5 accessed the archives to air three memorable, historic Browns victories, marking the first time the team and its exclusive TV partner had the opportunity to broadcast games from the team's and NFL Films' archives on a local over-the-air network.
Preseason games will continue to air through a special triplecast on Audacy's 92.3 The Fan (WKRK-FM) and sister station 98.5 WNCX (WNCX-FM) and Good Karma Brands' 850 ESPN Cleveland, as well as across the University Hospitals Cleveland Browns Radio Network. Longtime voice of the Browns Jim Donovan will continue to serve as the play-by-play announcer, joined by the recently announced additions of Nathan Zegura (analyst) and Jerod Cherry (sideline reporter). The new crew was assembled following the retirement of Browns Legend Doug Dieken, for whom the Browns home radio booth at FirstEnergy Stadium is now named following his 23 seasons on air and his esteemed playing career.
Prior to each preseason game, Browns fans can also tune into News 5 for "Browns Countdown," hosted by Jon Doss and Kinkhabwala. The 30-minute program provides exclusive Browns content and interviews each week heading into kickoff.
Through the partnership, the Browns and News 5 have collaborated to deliver special behind-the-scenes access to fans throughout Northeast Ohio and the world, including four-time region Emmy Award winning docu-series "Building the Browns;" weekly preview and pregame shows during the regular season; special looks into training camp and the draft; and more.
The NFL adjusted its preseason schedule in 2021 from four to three games after expanding the regular season schedule to 17 contests. AFC teams will play eight regular season home games and two preseason home games this year while the NFC will hold nine regular season home games and one preseason home game, a structure that rotates between the two conferences each year.
The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) is a diversified media company focused on creating a better-informed world. As one of the nation's largest local TV broadcasters, Scripps serves communities with quality, objective local journalism and operates a portfolio of 61 stations in 41 markets. The Scripps Networks reach nearly every American through the national news outlets Court TV and Newsy and popular entertainment brands ION, Bounce, Defy TV, Grit, ION Mystery, Laff and TrueReal. Scripps is the nation's largest holder of broadcast spectrum. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, "Give light and the people will find their own way."