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.

  • MLB on TV: Rangers to have 155 telecasts available in Oklahoma

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Updated: Thu, Mar 31, 2016

    Opening Day for Major League Baseball is this weekend, so it's time to look at coverage plans in Oklahoma for the four regional teams and also national MLB coverage. The Texas Rangers will have the most games available on cable in Oklahoma City with 155 games on Fox Sports Southwest. Those telecasts also are available on Fox Sports Oklahoma or Fox Sports Plus, depending on conflicts with Thunder and college football telecasts. The remaining seven games are scheduled for national broadcasts on Fox and FS1. The Rangers will have a newcomer to the booth for about one-third of the telecasts. Dave Raymond will be the play-by-play announcer for about 45 games with regular play-by-play announcer Steve Busby shifting into the

  • Media notes: TBS plans extensive pregame coverage for Final Four

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Mar 31, 2016

    TBS plans extensive pregame coverage for the Final Four, including appearances by Vice President Joe Biden ad his wife, Dr. Jill Biden (a graduate of Villanova), former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman and David “Big Daddy” Lattin, the starting center for the 1966 UTEP national championship team that defeated Kentucky, will also appear on the show. His grandson, Khadeem, is OU's starting center. "At the Final Four," 2-3 p.m., will air live from the tailgate area outside of NRG Stadium. Ernie Johnson will host the show with analysts Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller.  They will be joined by game analyst Grant Hill and Hall of Famer Bill Walton. "The Final Four Show," 3-5 p.m.

  • Media notebook: Chad McKee, Eduardo Najera and Jessica Coody hired as Oklahoma Team Stream broadcasters for Final Four

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Mar 29, 2016

    Play-by-play announcer Chad McKee, analyst Eduardo Najera and reporter Jessica Coody have been hired as the broadcast team for the Oklahoma Team Stream, which will cover the OU-Villanova semifinal game, at 5 p.m. Saturday on TNT.

  • Sports on TV: CBS' telecast of OU-Oregon game tops weekly ratings

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Mar 29, 2016

    CBS' telecast of Oklahoma's 80-68 victory over Oregon on Saturday night earned a 17.2 rating on KWTV-9 to top the Oklahoma City TV ratings for the week. The win propelled the Sooners into a Final Four matchup vs. Villanova. The Oklahoma City Thunder got a 10.7 for its 111-107 victory over Houston on Tuesday on TNT, but averaged only 5.4 for its other three telecasts on Fox Sports Oklahoma. Sports events March 22-28 1. Oklahoma vs. Oregon, NCAA Tournament, Saturday, KWTV-9, 17.2. 2. Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M, NCAA Tournament, Thursday, TBS, 13.3. 2. Kansas vs. Villanova, NCAA Tournament, Saturday, KWTV-9, 13.3. 4. Houston at Oklahoma City, NBA, Tuesday, TNT, 10.7. 5. North Carolina vs. Notre Dame, NCAA

  • OU basketball: Analyst Jim Spanarkel high on Buddy Hield and the Sooners' experience

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Mar 22, 2016

    CBS analyst Jim Spanarkel, a former Duke and NBA player, will broadcast the Oklahoma-Texas A&M game at 6:37 p.m. Thursday on TBS, working with play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist and courtside reporter Allie LaForce. Spanarkel is calling his 19th NCAA Tournament and has broadcast the Brooklyn and New Jersey Nets games for 25 seasons on the YES Network. Spanarkel, 58, who is also a senior vice president for wealth management at Merrill Lynch, had the opportunity last week to broadcast two Stephen F. Austin games involving new Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood. Spanarkel talked about Underwood and the OU-Texas A&M game in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon.

  • Ratings watch: CBS' OU-VCU telecast tops week with 16.4 on KWTV-9

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Mar 22, 2016

    CBS' telecast of the OU-Virginia Commonweath basketball game Sunday in the NCAA Tournament topped the Oklahoma City TV ratings for the week with a 16.4. It was the Sooners' best rating by far this season, topping the 10.7 for the OU-Kansas triple-overtime game on ESPN on Jan. 4. Hurt by competition from the NCAA Tournament, the Oklahoma City Thunder had a subpar week with a 5.5 average for three games. Sports events March 15-21 1. Oklahoma vs. Virginia Commonweath, NCAA Tournament, Sunday, KWTV-9, 16.4. 2. Stephen F. Austin vs. Notre Dame, NCAA Tournament, Sunday, KWTV-9, 8.9. 3. Oklahoma vs. Cal State-Bakersfield, NCAA Tournament, Friday, TNT, 7.5. 4. Kansas vs. Connecticut, NCAA Tournament, Saturday,

  • Media notes: ESPN and ESPN2 to show entire women's basketball tournament

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Fri, Mar 18, 2016

    ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will combine to show the entire the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament beginning Friday. For the first round, as many as four games will begin within an ESPN2 telecast window. The coverage will showcase the best action for viewers in the majority of the nation, according to an ESPN release. In the home markets of the teams, including Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, ESPN2 will air the game of local interest. While updates from the other games will be provided in the home market, the networks will not switch to another game during live action. Clay Matvick and Sue Bird, a Seattle Storm point guard who played at UConn, will broadcast the No. 7 OSU-No. 10 St. Bonaventure game from

  • Media: CBS' Carter Blackburn excited to get full dose of NCAA Tournament

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Mar 16, 2016

    Blackburn, a 2001 Syracuse University graduate, had a brief taste of the tournament in 2008 and 2009 doing two games each year, but he is getting a major dose this year calling eight games in five days.

  • Media notes: Carter Blackburn, Mike Gminski and Jaime Maggio assigned to broadcast Oklahoma City tournament games

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Mar 14, 2016

    The new broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Carter Blackburn, analyst Mike Gminski and sideline reporter Jaime Maggio have been assigned to broadcast the NCAA Tournament games from Oklahoma City on Friday and Sunday. The trio will make its tournament debut on Wednesday night, calling two First Four games from Dayton, Ohio.

  • Media: Lesley McCaslin says pregnancy hasn't slowed her work as Thunder reporter

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Mon, Mar 14, 2016

    McCaslin, who is in her fourth season covering the Thunder for Fox Sports Oklahoma, is expecting her first child, a boy, on June 21, shortly after the NBA season.

  • Media notebook: Big 12 Tournament to air on three ESPN networks

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Mar 8, 2016

    The entire Big 12 Tournament from Kansas City, Mo., will be split up on three ESPN networks — ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

  • Sports on TV: TNT's Thunder-Warriors telecast tops weekly ratings

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Mar 8, 2016

    TNT's coverage of the Golden State Warriors' 121-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night topped the week with a 9.7 rating in Oklahoma City. NBA telecasts swept the top five spots. The Warriors-Thunder telecast also fared well nationally with 3.6 million viewers and a 2.3 rating to tie for the most-viewed non-Christmas Day NBA game on cable this season. The Texas-OSU game Friday night on ESPN2 topped the college basketball telecasts with a 2.4. Sports events March 1-7 1. Oklahoma City at Golden State, NBA, Thursday, TNT, 9.7 2. Oklahoma City at L.A. Clippers, NBA, Wednesday, ESPN 3.9, FSOK 3.4, combined 7.3 3. Oklahoma City at Milwaukee, NBA, Sunday, FSOK, 5.4 4. Golden State at

  • Award-winning Brenda VanLengen to broadcast Big 12 women's tournament

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Mar 2, 2016

    VanLengen, who was a standout basketball player at Roselawn (Neb.) High School and the University of Nebraska-Kearney, also broadcasts women's games for ESPN and the SEC Network as a play-by-play announcer.

  • Media notes: Thunder to make back-to-back national TV appearances

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer mbracht@oklahoman.clom | Published: Tue, Mar 1, 2016

    The Oklahoma City Thunder will make back-to-back national television appearances against top Western Conference opponents.

  • Media notes: NFL Network to air live Scouting Combine coverage beginning Friday

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Feb 26, 2016

    For the 12th year, NFL Media provides exclusive multiplatform coverage of the league's next generation of talent with live coverage of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Coverage will provide an up-close look at the more than 330 prospects looking to take the next step in their football careers.  For the first time, the running backs are included in the first group of workouts on Friday, joining the offensive linemen and special teams. Live coverage on NFL Network continues with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends on Saturday, linebackers and defensive linemen on Sunday, and defensive backs on Monday. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 8 a.m.

  • Media: ABC's Mike Breen says Thunder is still trying to find its way under coach Billy Donovan

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Feb 23, 2016

    The Thunder is basking in the national spotlight this week with three national telecasts, including a TNT game at 7 p.m. Thursday at New Orleans (Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony, Chris Webber and reporter Craig Sager) and an ABC "NBA Saturday Primetime" game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against league-leading Golden State. The new Saturday series is excelling in the ratings, including 3.5 million viewers and a 2.2 rating for the Warriors-Clippers game last week. Veteran announcer Mike Breen, who will call the Golden State game with Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson and reporter Lisa Salters, discussed the game in a phone call Tuesday afternoon.

  • Media notes: Fox's Jeff Gordon gears up to broadcast Daytona 500 for the first time

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Feb 18, 2016

    Jeff Gordon, who left NASCAR last fall as a four-time Sprint Cup champion, again will be in the spotlight at the Daytona 500 on Sunday — this time from the broadcast booth. Gordon will join race announcer Mike Joy and analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds for the broadcast of the race at noon Sunday on Fox. Prerace coverage begins at 11 a.m. Gordon admitted he had a lot to learn about broadcasting. He called his first post-retirement race, the Sprint Unlimited, last weekend. “It's a lot to take in,” Gordon said on a conference call Thursday. “I had no idea just how much goes into these broadcasts. That's been the most impressive part to me ... It's quite an overwhelming undertaking.

  • Sports ratings watch: NBA All-Star ratings up 34 percent in Oklahoma City from last year

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, mbracht@oklahoman.clom | Published: Tue, Feb 16, 2016

    Ratings for the NBA All-Star Game were up both nationally and in Oklahoma City. The telecast, which aired on both TNT and TBS, reached 7.6 million viewers, up 6 percent from last year. In Oklahoma City, it got a combined 9.9 rating to rank as the second-highest market behind San Antonio (12.4) and was up 34 percent from last year (7.4). The All-Star Saturday Night skills competitions got a 5.6 in Oklahoma City to rank fourth nationally. The OU men's basketball team got its second-best rating of the season, a 6.8, for its loss to Kansas on ESPN on Saturday, trailing the 10.7 for the teams' first meeting in Lawrence, Kan. Sports events Feb. 9-15 1. NBA All-Star Game, Sunday, TNT 8.9, TBS 1.0, combined 9.9. 1. New Orleans

  • Media notes: TNT to air All-Star festivities beginning with Rising Stars Challenge

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Feb 11, 2016

    TNT's NBA All-Star coverage from Toronto begins with the Rising Stars Challenge at 8 p.m. Friday and continues with the All-Star Saturday Night skills competition at 7 p.m. Saturday and the All-Star Game at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. The Rising Stars Challenge will feature a USA vs. World format with some of the league's top young talent in action, including New York's Kristaps Porzingis, Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, Philadelphia's Jahlil Okafor and Milwaukee's Jabari Parker. Matt Winer, Grant Hill, Chris Webber and reporter Kristen Ledlow will call the game. TNT's Saturday night lineup will also include NBA Talent Challenge, a competition featuring NBA players demonstrating their off-the-court talents, at 5

  • ESPN's Seth Greenberg: No. 3 OU isn't overrated despite recent struggles

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Feb 9, 2016

    Veteran coach Seth Greenberg, 59, who posted a 383-293 record in 22 years as head basketball coach at Long Beach State, South Florida and Virginia Tech, has made a successful transition to broadcasting. In his second season with ESPN's "College GameDay," he will be in Norman on Saturday for shows at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to preview the OU-Kansas game at 1:30 on ESPN. Greenberg discussed the transition to broadcasting and the game in a phone call this week.  Q: Following your fine coaching career, how do you like the broadcasting side of college basketball? A: "It's totally different. I'm very fortunate. I don't take for granted the opportunity that has been given to me. I've got a great gig. I work with incredible people. The