Change requires adjustments. For this baseball season, that’s exactly what the broadcast teams for the Chicago Cubs and White Sox are facing. It’s the first time the two teams have switched radio stations since 1944.
The Cubs aired their games on WGN-AM 720 from 1959-2014 but CBS Radio secured the radio rights in 2015, moving the team’s games to WBBM. Although it wasn’t confirmed at the time, it was anticipated that when the White Sox deal ran out with 670 The Score after the 2015 season, the Cubs would be shifted to the sports talker for the remaining six years of the contract.
That move has been made, and the Cubs enter the 2016 season being featured on an all-sports station for the first time in club history. With that relationship comes a lot more chatter throughout the day, some of it positive, some of it negative.
Program Director Mitch Rosen explains how The Score will treat the situation. “We will respect them, but if there are critical plays or moves, of course, we’re going to weigh in. We’re in the opinion business.”
Meanwhile for WLS, airing White Sox games will be a new experience. Peter Bolger, the operations and program director for the radio station has created a sports staff with Connor McKnight and Rachel Brady to ramp up the coverage with the addition of the Sox and beginning with the 2016-17 season, the Bulls.
By carrying the Sox and Bulls, Bolger believes WLS will become more appealing to local listeners.
“We’re in the business where success depends on how many people we have in our tent,” Bolger said. “The Sox (and Bulls) brings us a whole new group of people.”
Ultimately, each station’s ratings will be affected by how the team’s perform on the field. As they say, winning takes care of everything.
Credit to the Chicago Tribune who originally published portions of this article