Mel Bracht
News Presentation Copy Editor, Sports Media

Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican and Marion (Ind.) Chronicle-Tribune, and joined The Tulsa Tribune as assistant sports editor in 1982. After the Tribune folded in 1992, he served as assistant sports editor on the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal-Gazette.

Bracht joined The Oklahoman in 1994 as a sports copy editor and wrote a weekly sports media column. In 2000, he became a full-time media writer for the features staff. He also has served as a copy editor for the features and Opinion sections and as an editorial writer. He sings on the worship team at Victory Faith Center in Midwest City.

  • TNT analysts claim Spurs robbed by non-call in closing seconds of Thunder victory

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, May 3, 2016

    TNT game analyst Chris Webber claimed the San Antonio Spurs were robbed in the closing seconds of Game 2 of the Thunder-Spurs series on Monday night, when an offensive foul wasn't called on Dion Waiters when he pushed off Manu Ginóbili in attempting to pass the ball inbounds to Kevin Durant. "That was an offensive foul, a blatant offensive foul," Webber said. "That was there for anyone to view. He was out of bounds. You can't push anybody from there. ... Terrible!" The TNT studio crew also thought the Spurs were robbed but weren't sure what the infraction should have been, a foul or a technical. "I would protest the game," Kenny Smith said. "That might have been the worst non-call I have seen in a playoff game in the

  • TNT analysts are stunned by the Thunder's dismal defense

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Apr 30, 2016

    Studio analyst Charles Barkley in the postgame said he was now expecting it would be a short series.

  • Media: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to be featured on tease for ESPN's NFL Draft coverage

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

    For the fifth straight year, the first hour of Round 1 will air with limited commercial interruptions on ESPN.

  • Sports on TV: Oklahoma City's Skip Bayless leaving ESPN, expected to join Fox Sports

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    "First Take" co-host Skip Bayless, a 1970 Northwest Classen High School graduate, is leaving ESPN after 12 years, the network confirmed Tuesday. He is expected to join Fox Sports. ESPN said in a statement: “Skip Bayless has decided to leave ESPN when his contract expires at the end of August. His final appearance on 'First Take' will be the day after the NBA Finals conclude. We want to thank Skip for his many contributions to ESPN. His hard work and talent have benefited ESPN for 12 years.” Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz, who created "First Take" while at ESPN, said last month that he hoped to sign Bayless if he became available. “Yes, we're interested in all the superstars,” Horowitz told the Sporting News.

  • Thunder playoff TV ratings down 32 percent from 2014 first-round series

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Apr 26, 2016

    The Oklahoma City Thunder averaged a 13.7 combined TV rating in Oklahoma City for its five-game first-round playoff series against Dallas, down 32 percent from its last first-round series, a seven-game series against Memphis in 2014 (20.2). The last two games of that series had huge ratings (23.0, 27.7). Game 4 of the Golden State-Houston series on Sunday got a 8.4 on KOCO-5 and a 4.5 rating nationally, making it the most-watched first-round game on any network in 14 years (since 2002), averaging 7.2 million viewers. Sports events (April 19-25)   1. Dallas at Oklahoma City, NBA playoffs, Monday, TNT 8.2, FSOK 5.9, combined 14.1. 2. Oklahoma City at Dallas, NBA playoffs, TNT 7.9, Thursday, FSOK 5.1,

  • TNT's Charles Barkley praises Thunder as 'dangerous' with more weapons than any NBA team

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Apr 25, 2016

    "Oklahoma City has more weapons than any team in the NBA, any team," Barkley said. "They have guys coming off the bench like (Randy) Foye and (Enes) Kanter."

  • Remote patrol: ESPN analyst Jon Barry says Thunder has 'excellent chance' against Spurs in second-round matchup

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Apr 23, 2016

    Barry, working with solid play-by-play announcer Dave Pasch, raved about the scoring of Enes Kanter and the passing of Russell Westbrook, which allowed the Thunder to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

  • Sports on TV: OKC Thunder slips to fourth place in local NBA ratings

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Thu, Apr 21, 2016

    The Oklahoma City Thunder slipped to fourth place in the NBA local TV ratings for the 2015-16 season. The Thunder averaged 6.7 in its telecasts on Fox Sports Oklahoma, a 7 percent drop from last season in which it placed third with a 7.2. FSOK's season high was a 10.0 against Toronto on Nov. 15. The Thunder had been local TV ratings champions for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. The Golden State Warriors led the NBA with a 9.76 average rating on CSN Bay Area, including an NBA record-setting 23.2 for their season finale against Memphis. The Cleveland Cavaliers finished second with a 9.31 average on Fox Sports Ohio, followed by the San Antonio Spurs, 8.71 on Fox Sports Southwest. The Miami Heat finished fifth with a 4.50 on Sun

  • Sports on TV: Thunder playoff ratings down 15 percent from 2014

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    Oklahoma City TV ratings for the first two Thunder playoff telecasts were down 15 percent from the team's last first-round series, against Memphis in 2014 (the Thunder failed to make playoffs in 2015). Monday night's Game 2 topped the week with a combined 15.1 rating (TNT 8.2, FSOK 6.9). Sports Events (April 12-18) 1. Dallas at Oklahoma City, NBA Playoffs, Monday, TNT 8.2, FSOK 6.9, combined 15.1. 2. Dallas at Oklahoma City, NBA Playoffs, Saturday, ESPN 7.7, FSOK 6.0, combined 13.7. 3. Oklahoma City at San Antonio, NBA, Tuesday, FSOK 5.3, TNT 2.5, combined 7.8. 4. Detroit at Cleveland, NBA Playoffs, Sunday, KOCO-5, 7.5. 5. Houston at Golden State, NBA Playoffs, Saturday, KOCO-5, 6.7.

  • Sports on TV: 'Sports Detectives' to debut on Smithsonian Channel

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2016

    The Smithsonian Channel's six-episode docuseries "Sports Detectives" will debut at 8 p.m. Sunday. Reporter Lauren Gardner and former FBI agent Kevin Barrows host the show, which investigates and finds missing treasures and hunts down the truth of what happened behind some of the most iconic moments in U.S. sports history. In the premiere, "Sports Detectives" attempts to track down the American flag that was draped over goaltender Jim Craig after the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team's gold medal game victory over Finland in Lake Placid, N.Y. That game came two days after the team defeated the Soviet Union in the famous semifinal known as the “Miracle on Ice.

  • Remote patrol: FSOK analyst Antonio Daniels blasts officials for treating Durant like he was a rookie

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

    KD finished with a dismal 7 of 33 shooting night in which he was clearly frustrated by the officiating.

  • Remote patrol: ESPN studio looked at halftime of Game 1 to Thunder's possible second-round matchup with Spurs

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Apr 18, 2016

    The Oklahoma City Thunder's domination in the series opener Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks was so complete in the first half that  ESPN's studio crew at halftime started talking about a possible second-round matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. Analyst Doug Collins said he thought the Thunder would give the Spurs, who have had trouble against speed and quickness, a battle in a "tremendous series."  "The question is if Oklahoma is going to be disciplined enough to beat the Spurs in the fourth quarter in close games when the game is on the line," Collins said. Analyst  Jalen Rose said he expected the Thunder would sweep the Mavs, like it did in the regular season.

  • Sports on TV: Thunder-Mavs game will be part of ESPN playoff tripleheader Saturday

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Fri, Apr 15, 2016

    ABC and ESPN will combine to televise five playoff games this weekend, including Dallas at Oklahoma City at 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox). The game also will air on Fox Sports Oklahoma. ABC/ESPN's No. 1 broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and reporter Lisa Salters will have double duty on ABC. The crew will call Houston at Golden State series at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and then fly to Cleveland to call Detroit at Cleveland at 2 p.m. Sunday. ESPN will have a tripleheader Saturday, beginning with Indiana at Toronto at 11:30 a.m. (Mark Jones, Doris Burke and reporter Israel Gutierrez), followed by Boston at Atlanta at 6 p.m. (Dave Pasch, Jon Barry and reporter J.A.

  • Media notebook: ESPN airing historic night in the NBA on Wednesday

    By Mel Bracht The Oklahoman | Published: Tue, Apr 12, 2016

    The Golden State Warriors will attempt to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ all-time wins record by going 73-9 this season as they host the Memphis Grizzles at 9:30 p.m.

  • Sports on TV: Masters ratings down 38 percent from last year

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Apr 12, 2016

    Ratings from the fourth round of The Masters topped the Oklahoma City TV ratings for the week, but KWTV-9's ratings were down from last year when Jordan Spieth won his first green jacket. The combined Saturday and Sunday ratings (4.0-7.8) were down 38 percent from last year and 16 percent from 2014 (6.5-7.6). ESPN's first- and second-round Masters ratings in Oklahoma City (1.7-1.6) also were down 59 percent from last year (3.9-4.2). The Thunder ratings were topped by Kobe Bryant's final road game Monday night, earning a 7.1 on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Sports events April 5-11 1. The Masters fourth round, PGA Tour, Sunday, KWTV-9, 7.8. 2. L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City, NBA, Monday, FSOK, 7.1. 3. Oklahoma City at

  • Sports on TV: NBA TV sets record with 2.6 million viewers for Warriors-Spurs telecast

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Mon, Apr 11, 2016

    NBA TV's telecast of the Golden State Warriors' 92-86 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night averaged 2.6 million viewers to become the network's most-viewed telecast of all time. The telecast — peaking with an average of 3.7 million total viewers from 8-8:15 p.m. — registered cable TV's highest-rated sports program of the night, based on metered market delivery. The telecast nearly doubled the network's record of 1.4 million viewers, set for the Spurs-Warriors game on Jan. 25. ESPN expands gymnastics coverage ESPN has added individual apparatus streams and a new scoring interface to its first live TV production of the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships airing Friday and Saturday from the Fort

  • Media: Jackie Robinson profiled in Ken Burns' four-hour documentary

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer mbracht@oklahoman.comSt | Published: Sun, Apr 10, 2016

    Pitchers threw at him. Opposing players spiked him as they ran past him at first base. Others pushed him down, and many cursed him.  Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson was subject to various forms of abuse after he broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947, but he bit his tongue and didn't retaliate. Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman, a sharp-tongued Alabaman, unleashed a verbal attack during a game against the Dodgers. A few days before Major League Baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, famed director Ken Burns along with Sarah Burns and David McMahon profile the baseball trailblazer in a four-hour documentary on PBS (8-10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, OETA).

  • Media: Toby Rowland calls his five years as OU radio voice 'just wonderful'

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Apr 7, 2016

    Rowland has enjoyed his share of memorable broadcasts, including the OU basketball team's triple-overtime loss in January at Kansas, Samaja Perine's record rushing day against Kansas in 2014 and Blake Bell's Bedlam-winning touchdown pass in 2013.

  • Sports on TV: NBA TV's free preview weekend will include Golden State at San Antonio game Sunday

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Thu, Apr 7, 2016

    Through a free preview this weekend, NBA TV's Sunday triple-header — which will include the much anticipated Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs game at 6 p.m. — will be available nationally to cable and satellite subscribers. The Warriors, 69-9 through Wednesday, are pursuing the NBA's all-time regular-season wins record of 72 games.  Meanwhile, the Spurs are 39-0 at home and just two wins from the first undefeated regular-season home record in league history. Analyst Steve Smith and reporter Kristen Ledlow will provide pregame and postgame coverage. The trio of live games will tip off with Charlotte at Washington at 11 a.m., followed by Dallas at L.A. Clippers at 2:30 p.m. Cox Communications is carrying

  • Masters Live online coverage expands to follow featured groups for entire rounds

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Apr 5, 2016

    Masters Live, featuring live full-day video coverage on, will offer four channels of golf action for the Masters Tournament and will follow select featured groups each day throughout their entire round for the first time.