Congratulations are in order for Chicago sports broadcaster Chuck Swirsky, who will be inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame on September 7th. An induction ceremony is scheduled during the 20th annual Awards Dinner. WFLD-TV/FOX 32 anchor Corey McPherrin will serve as emcee.
Swirsky’s has spent nearly four decades in the broadcasting industry. He began his career in 1979 on WCFL-AM, with a late night call-in show. He then moved over to WLUP-FM to host a weekend talk show and deliver sports updates during the week. In 1981, Swirsky signed on at WGN-AM and worked his way up to Sports Director. He provided sports updates on the station, including in mornings where he became affectionately referred to as “The Swirsk” by morning host Bob Collins. He also was the station’s first host of the long-running weekend show “Sports Central”, working alongside Jack Brickhouse. He stayed with WGN-AM until 1994.
Additionally, Swirsky served a public address announcer for the Chicago Bulls from 1980 to 1983. He also worked as a host on the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for 12 years, and on the Chicago Bears Radio Network for 10 years. Swirsky added radio play by play duties for the Chicago Sting and DePaul Blue Demons men’s basketball, and television play-by-play responsibilities for Northwestern University football. He also got a taste of filling in as a television sports anchor on WGN-TV.
In 1994, Swisky decided to leave the windy city in order to accept an offer as the Sports Director of WJR-AM in Detroit. Combined with that role was an opportunity to host the pre-game, and post-game shows for the Detroit Red Wings, and call the play-by-play for the University of Michigan men’s basketball and football games.
By 1998, Swirsky became recognized internationally when he moved to Canada to become the radio voice of the Toronto Raptors. He spent the first three years calling their games on radio, and the next seven handling their play by play duties on television. He also remained connected to radio, hosting a popular sports talk show for CJCL-AM.
After officially becoming a Canadian citizen in 2008, Swirsky had to say goodbye to the country that welcomed him in with open arms. Chicago came calling with an opportunity to become the radio voice of the Chicago Bulls, and he’s remained the team’s lead announcer ever since.
Since returning, he’s also stepped in as a fill-in television announcer for the Chicago White Sox when Ken “Hawk” Harrelson had to miss time for medical reasons.
The Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame will pay tribute to Swirsky for his decades of sports broadcasting excellence in Chicago. He has been awarded the 2016 Media Award by the organization.
For more information on the annual event and the organization, visit ChicagolandSportsHallOfFame.com.