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.

  • Sports on TV: OKC Thunder vs. Chicago telecast tops ratings in ice-storm affected week

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Dec 29, 2015

    The weekend ice storm knocked out the local TV ratings for Sunday and Monday sporting events, including a full slate of NFL games, as Nielsen failed to receive its minimum of 350 households in the Oklahoma City metro. ABC's telecast of the Bulls' 105-96 victory over the Thunder on Christmas Day topped the week with a 12.1 rating on KOCO-5. Second place went to Washington State's 20-14 over Miami in the snowy Sun Bowl, which got a 9.4 on KWTV-9 on Saturday.  Sports events Dec. 22-28 1. Chicago at Oklahoma City, NBA, Friday, KOCO-5, 12.1. 2. Miami vs. Washington State, Sun Bowl, Saturday, KWTV-9, 9.4. 3. Cleveland at Golden State, NBA, Friday, KOCO-5, 8.4. 4. Oklahoma City at L.A. Lakers, NBA,

  • Sports media notebook: Dick Vitale to broadcast OU-Kansas game in 'Big Monday' season debut

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Tue, Dec 29, 2015

    ESPN opens its "Big Monday" college basketball schedule next week with a top-three showdown as No. 3 Oklahoma plays at No. 2 Kansas at 8 p.m. Dick Vitale, the most recognized voice of college basketball, will call the game with play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger. Vitale, a former University of Detroit and Detroit Pistons coach, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season, just after the network's September 1979 launch. Musburger's normal "Big Monday" partner, Fran Fraschilla, will be broadcasting West Virginia at TCU at 6 p.m. Monday on ESPN2 with Mark Neely. ESPN2 will air another Big 12 showdown on Saturday when No. 3 OU hosts No. 11 Iowa State at 6 p.m. Jon Sciambi and Fraschilla will call the game.

  • ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge compares OU to last year's Ohio State national champions

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Wed, Dec 23, 2015

    ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge will call his third OU football game this season, broadcasting the Orange Bowl between No. 1 Clemson and No. 4 Ohio State on New Year's Eve with Brad Nessler and sideline reporter Holly Rowe.

  • Sports on TV: Thunder gets season-best 12.6 rating for TNT's Thunder-Cavs telecast

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Dec 22, 2015

    TNT's Oklahoma City Thunder-Cleveland Cavaliers telecast Thursday night topped the week with a 12.6 rating in Oklahoma City, the Thunder's best rating this season. The Thunder averaged 8.4 for four games, including a 7.2 for its victory over the Los Angeles Clippers late Monday night. In what is the lowest Dallas Cowboys' rating in years, the NFL Network broadcast of the New York Jets' 19-16 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday night got only a 3.0. SPORTS EVENTS FOR DEC. 15-21 1. Oklahoma City at Cleveland, NBA, Thursday, TNT, 12.6. 2. Denver at Pittsburgh, NFL, Sunday, KWTV-9, 11.8. 3. Arizona at Philadelphia, NFL, Sunday, KFOR-4, 9.1. 4. Portland at Oklahoma City, NBA, Wednesday, FSOK, 8.6. 5.

  • Sports media: Fox hires John Smoltz as lead baseball analyst

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Dec 22, 2015

    Fox Sports will ditch the three-man booth for baseball this season, hiring Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz to work with Joe Buck, the network announced Tuesday. Smoltz will replace Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci, who were part of a three-man booth the last two seasons. Fox spokesman Dan Bell said the network is discussing other roles for Reynolds and Verducci this season. “It is rare in this business that you're presented the opportunity to have a Hall of Fame-level player who is also one of the sport's top broadcasters,” John Entz, Fox Sports president of production and executive producer, said in a release.

  • Media notebook

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Thu, Dec 17, 2015

    For the season, "College GameDay" viewership was up 5 percent from last year with an average of 1,961,000 viewers and a 1.6 rating. Five of the seven most-watched three-hour episodes aired this season.

  • Media notes: Dave Raymond joins Texas Rangers broadcast team

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Dec 15, 2015

    A 21-year broadcasting veteran, Raymond served as the play-by-play announcer for seven Rangers spring-training telecasts last spring. He called radio and TV games for the Houston Astros from 2006 to 2012.

  • Ratings watch: SEC championship tops local ratings

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Dec 8, 2015

    CBS' coverage of the SEC championship game topped the Oklahoma City TV ratings for the week with a 10.7 on KWTV-9.

  • ratings watch

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    ICE STORM KNOCKS OUT TV RATING FOR BEDLAM The weekend ice storm cost KOCO-5 a huge rating for ABC's Bedlam football telecast. With many homes without electricity, The Nielsen Company failed to get its minimum of 350 households reporting and did not issue Oklahoma City TV ratings for Saturday or Sunday. Thus, ratings also were not reported for the four NFL games Sunday or any of the college football games Saturday. Tulsa's KTUL-8 earned a 35.7 rating and 42 share for OU's 58-23 victory over OSU in the Bedlam game. Last year's Bedlam game managed only a 23.5 in Oklahoma City on FS1, but the 2013 game had a 45.5 on KOCO-5.  Sports events Nov. 24-30 1. Carolina at Dallas, Thursday, KWTV-9, 14.6. 2. Philadelphia at

  • Bedlam football: ABC's Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit in the booth Saturday night

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    ABC's No. 1 broadcast team of Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporter Heather Cox will call its second OU game this season and first OSU game. The trio also called the OU-Baylor game Nov. 14. Fowler, who this season relinquished his job as “College GameDay” host after 25 years, also broadcasts  Grand Slam tennis events for ESPN. Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, is in his 20th year as a “College GameDay” analyst. Cox, a former standout volleyball player, joined ESPN in 1994.

  • Ratings watch: ABC's TCU-OU telecast beats Fox's Baylor-OSU game in battle of Saturday night showdowns

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    In a battle of Saturday prime-time showdowns, ABC's TCU-OU telecast beat Fox's Baylor-OSU telecast 26.2 to 18.8 in the Oklahoma City TV ratings.

  • Media notes: "College GameDay" analyst Desmond Howard to be honored by Michigan

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    ESPN "College GameDay" analyst Desmond Howard won't be in Stillwater for Saturday's 8-11 a.m. telecast in advance of the Bedlam game as he is being honored by his alma mater, the University of Michigan.

  • OU football: ABC's Todd Blackledge explains TCU coach Gary Patterson's decision to go for two late in loss to Sooners

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Sun, Nov 22, 2015

    After TCU turned a game ABC announcer Brad Nessler described as a yawner into a nail-biting affair in the closing minutes, analyst Todd Blackledge credited safety Steven Parker in making the play of the game in preserving the Sooners' 30-29 victory Saturday night as he knocked down quarterback Bram Kohlhausen's pass on a two-point conversion. "Just reading the quarterback's eyes, he timed his jump and made the play," Blackledge said. Blackledge, a former Penn State and NFL quarterback, explained TCU coach Gary Patterson's logic in going for the win instead of kicking the extra point and going to overtime.  "Obviously, Gary Patterson is thinking, with our backup quarterback and all of our injuries, we've got momentum,

  • OSU football: Fox announcers second-guess Mike Gundy's decision to use onside kick late in loss to Baylor

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Nov 21, 2015

    Fox's lead broadcast team of Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt second-guessed Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's decision to kick an onside kick after the Cowboys trimmed TCU's lead to 38-28 with five minutes to go Saturday night. "I don't like to go to the desperation play until I have to, forced into it," Klatt, a former Colorado quarterback, said. "The (OSU) defense was playing well. The (TCU) offense was on the ropes." Johnson, who during the pregame show said Gundy was his pick for national coach of the year, said he "totally agreed" with Klatt. "Maybe a tactical mistake with five minutes to go, especially when you consider that Chris Johnson had thrown an interception on the last series.

  • OSU football: Fox's lead crew of Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt on the call for OSU vs. Baylor

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Fri, Nov 20, 2015

    Fox's lead college football broadcast team of Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Molly McGrath will call Saturday's game between Oklahoma State in Baylor. The trio also called OSU's 49-29 victory over TCU. Johnson, a Howard University graduate, earned national fame calling March Madness games for CBS. Klatt, a former Colorado quarterback, spent the past two seasons as a studio analyst and calling Thursday night games for FS1 and Fox. McGrath, a former Boston College cheerleader, co-hosts “America's Pregame” show for FS1.

  • Media notes: Jim Traber named to Talkers Magazine Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Nov 19, 2015

    Traber, ranked No. 76, is the only Oklahoma-based announcer.

  • OU-Baylor gets 30.6 rating on KOCO-5 and finishes as top game nationally with 4.2 overnight rating.

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Updated: Tue, Nov 17, 2015

    ABC's telecast of the OU-Baylor game got a 30.6 rating on KOCO-5, the Sooners' second-best rating of the season behind the Texas game (31.2).

  • OU football: ABC broadcast team boosts Baker Mayfield's Heisman bid

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Sun, Nov 15, 2015

    In the closing minutes of OU's 44-34 victory over Baylor Saturday, OU quarterback Baker Mayfield picked up a big boost in his darkhorse race to win the Heisman Trophy: A strong recommendation from ABC's No. 1 broadcast team of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. After showing a graphic on how Mayfield's stats compared to OU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Jason White and Sam Bradford, the announcers agreed that he deserved strong consideration for the award. "This is the kind of game that elevates you," Fowler said. Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, said it was more than just his stats that made him a strong candidate, noting how he inspires his teammates. "That's the difference. The intensity, the

  • OSU football: ESPN announcers credit Cowboys' defense for perserving come-from-behind victory over Iowa State

    By Mel Bracht Staff Writer | Published: Sat, Nov 14, 2015

    ESPN announcers Adam Amin and Kelly Stouffer applauded the Oklahoma State defense for two clutch stops in the closing minutes of the game as the No. 8 Cowboys (10-0) preserved an unbeaten season with a 35-31 victory at Iowa State on Saturday. "Now the Big 12 truly goes through Stillwater with two games at home against Baylor and Oklahoma," Amin said. The first stop came when OSU linebacker Chad Whitener stopped running back, and Lawton product, Michael Warren on 4th-and-1. It came on what Stouffer said was questionable playcalling by the Cyclones when they threw a long pass on 3rd-and-1. "These play calls were absolutely backward. You needed to be running this ball on 3rd-and-1 and convert and move the chains.

  • OSU football: ESPN crew of Adam Amin, Kelly Stouffer on the call for Cowboys vs. Iowa State

    By Mel Bracht, Staff Writer, | Published: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    ESPN's Adam Amin, Kelly Stouffer and sideline reporter Olivia Harlan will broadcast their second OSU game this season when the Cowboys travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State. The trio also called the Cowboys' opener at Central Michigan. Amin, a Valparaiso University graduate, covers a variety of college sports for ESPN networks. Stouffer, a former Colorado State quarterback, was a backup quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins and Carolina Panthers. Harlan, daughter of TNT/CBS announcer Kevin Harlan, has worked Atlanta Hawks games for Fox Sports South.