News75th Anniversary


A look back at 75 years of sports broadcasting at WEWS

Posted at 8:21 PM, Dec 13, 2022

CLEVLAND — Our celebration of 75 years of broadcasting here at News 5 continues with a look at sports.

Thirty-seven years ago this month, legendary WEWS Sports Director Gib Shanley delivered his final sports cast on our air.

The Gibber signed off after setting the standard for the WEWS Sports Department. Those standards live on to this day, and over the years maintained by a select few.

All of us lucky enough to document a small part of the Cleveland sports scene over the last 75 years.

His delivery, outrageous sports coats and playful exchanges—notably with Don Webster—made Gibber appointment TV.

Shanley is also believed to be the first to add commentary to his sport casts.

His outspoken style made national headlines in 1979. Following the burning of a U.S. flag in Downtown Cleveland during the Iran Hostage Crisis, Shanley burned an Iranian flag live on air. It drew the ire of some and admiration of others.

His 19-year run officially ended at WEWS on Friday, Dec. 21, 1984.

And then there was Nev.

After waiting in the wings since 1971 as a weekend sports anchor, Rocky River’s Neville “Nev ” Chandler got his chance and proved to be a more than worthy successor to Gib.

Chandler took over as WEWS sports director in 1985. And later that same year, he cemented his legacy in Cleveland folklore as the play-by-play voice of the Cleveland Browns.

But at the top of his game, and beloved by Northeast Ohioans, fate dealt Nev a cruel hand—cancer. His death was announced on the morning exchange in 1994. The world lost him too early, but his legacy lives on.

From the history makers to the historic events

WEWS cameras were there for the 1948 World Series and those heart-breaking losses of the 90s, to the team’s resurgence under Terry Francona and another heart breaker with the 2016 world series.

We were for the rise of a Lebron James and his departure to his eventual return and the 2016 NBA finals.

The Browns and Jets played the very first Monday Night Football game on our air in 1970.

We were there in 1995 when Art Modell sucker punched the city and when the Dawg Pound came back in 1999.

Since the 2015 season, News 5 has been the official broadcast partner of the Browns…bringing you Browns preseason action and Emmy award-winning coverage during the season.

Other notable sports events on our airwaves

The Ohio State University winning the national title over Miami in 2002. Many consider it the greatest college football game of all time.

The 2020 NFL Draft on ABC for the first time ever.

Two final fun facts

Gib called the Cavs playoff series win over the Washington Bullets on radio in the Miracle of Richfield season in 1975-76.

And Nev was in the radio booth for Lenny Barker’s perfect game in 1981.

CLICK HERE to read more about all the stories WEWS has covered for more than seven decades.

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