The Cleveland Plain Dealer announced on Thursday that Cleveland Browns beat writer Tony Grossi had been reassigned for a disparaging tweet about the Browns owner.
Grossi tweeted about Browns owner Randy Lerner, He is a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world.
Grossi claims that he thought he was sending a direct message and apologized to Lerner for the comments, but that didn't seem to matter to Plain Dealer management.
It was inadvertent, it was inappropriate, and I do apologize for it, Grossi said about the tweet. I've reached out to Randy Lerner to apologize to him for it and we'll just leave it at that. It was inappropriate and not meant to be tweeted, but it was inappropriate nonetheless.
Plain Dealer managing editor Thom Fladung said on a Cleveland radio station that Grossi hadn't been fired, as some had reported, but that there was no way that he could allow Grossi to return to his job as the paper's Browns beat writer.
That tweet from a Browns beat reporter we felt - and I felt very strongly - was inappropriate and unprofessional, and it's not what a journalist covering a beat - it's not the kind of opinion a journalist covering a beat can express, Fladung said.
He went on to say that he thought Grossi was a good beat writer, but that there have to be lines and there have to be standards, and he crossed one.
The tweet by Gross, as inadvertent as it appears to be, does show some of the danger of Twitter. Twitter can help tremendously in developing a following or boosting a newspaper's viability, but when used improperly can result in demotions, firings, and for high school athletes -- expulsion.