FOX Sports Ohio & Cleveland Cavaliers announce John Michael will join television broadcast team as play-by-play announcer
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cavaliers and FOX Sports Ohio announced today that John Michael will join the television broadcast team to call play-by-play. Michael fills the role of longtime Cavs play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod who passed away suddenly on September 9th.
Michael has served as the Radio Play-By-Play Broadcaster of the Cavaliers for the past eight seasons as well as hosted Cavs HQ, which airs on both FOX Sports Ohio and the Cavs Radio Network.
“The loss of Fred McLeod is something that has hurt all of us greatly. Certainly, we will always carry great thoughts and memories of Fred with us forever,” said Tad Carper, Cavaliers Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. “We are fortunate, though, to have John Michael as part of our broadcast family. John is a very talented, dedicated, hard-working and insightful broadcaster who has a great spectrum of experience and perspective to now bring to our TV broadcasts. We’re pleased to have him join Austin Carr at the table and Angel Gray on sideline as we head into our 50th season and the many special elements and history that will be a part of our season-long presentation of Cavs basketball.”
In addition to calling play-by-play on FOX Sports Ohio Cavs telecasts, Michael will continue to host Cavs HQ, be a regular contributor to Cavaliers Live pre- and postgame shows on FOX Sports Ohio and provide fans behind-the-scenes access via social media.
Michael has well over a decade of pro sports play-by-play experience. He previously worked with FOX Sports Ohio as the Columbus Blue Jackets host, rink-side reporter and contributor to Blue Jackets Live pre- and postgame shows. Prior to joining FOX Sports Ohio, Michael was the inaugural “Voice of the Cleveland Monsters” here in Cleveland.
“Our long-time relationship with John dating back to his days with the Monsters, Blue Jackets and Cavs HQmakes him no stranger to FOX Sports Ohio and viewers across the region and state. Add to this his radio experience calling Cavs games, and he is a natural fit for our Cavs play-by-play,” states Tom Farmer, Executive Producer, FOX Sports Ohio. “When the Cavs hired John for radio eight years ago, he was tasked with filling a role left by a legend, Joe Tait. John has done a remarkable job creating his own call of the game. The legacy left by Fred McLeod is truly special and will live on as well. At the same time, we know fans will appreciate John Michael’s approach and his great relationship with Austin Carr as well. That will bring a great sense of familiarity to the viewing experience and a genuine connection with fans.”
“It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I begin this season of Cavaliers basketball,” said John Michael. “I am honored and humbled that the Cavs organization and FOX Sports Ohio have looked to me to carry on for a special part of our family who left us way too soon. Every ounce of preparation, hard work and creativity that is poured into each television broadcast this season will be dedicated to the very high standard that Fred McLeod set. I am looking forward to joining my friend Austin Carr and helping deliver a great and entertaining season of Cavs basketball broadcasts.”
Earlier in his career, Michael gained valuable play-by-play experience with the MSA Sports Networkin Pennsylvania, hosting sports talk shows and broadcasting a variety of sports, including baseball, football, hockey, basketball, and soccer. Previously, Michael spent two seasons as the radio voice of the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and two seasons with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs. Following his final campaign with the Chiefs, the Aliquippa, Pennsylvania native was named the 2004-05 ECHL Broadcaster of the Year. The honor capped a tremendous campaign for Michael in which he had been chosen to broadcast the 2005 ECHL All-Star Game for NHL Radio. Michael also taught as an Adjunct Professor of Broadcasting at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where the game of basketball was invented.
This past summer, Michael was honored by being inducted into Western Pennsylvania’s Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Michael’s fellow inductees include the NBA’s Pete Maravich and Brad Davis, along with Cleveland Indians’ skipper Terry Francona and his father, Tito.
Prior to embarking on his broadcasting career, Michael earned a law degree, an MBA degree, and a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame, all with cum laude honors, in an eight-year span. Following graduation from law school in 1998, he joined the prestigious Pittsburgh law firm of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (now K&L Gates). There, he practiced law full time as a trial attorney specializing in construction law for over four years.