The search for Pat Hughes’ new partner in the Chicago Cubs’ radio booth could be in place before the Winter Meetings begin next Monday. Former Cub players, Ron Coomer and Todd Hollandsworth are the two finalists, according to Chicago broadcast media analyst Robert Feder.
Both former Cubs-turned-broadcasters are said to be at the top of the list to replace Keith Moreland as color analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Hughes. Moreland, who succeeded Ron Santo in 2011, announced last month he would not return next year, citing a desire to spend more time with his family in Texas.
Barring a last-minute change or late entry, sources said, the decision is expected to come down to Hollandsworth or Coomer. Bosses of the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station hope to fill the job in time for the 2013 Baseball Winter Meetings next week.
Coomer, 47, serves as a pre- and postgame show analyst for the Minnesota Twins on Fox Sports North and has developed a strong following. The Chicago-native graduated from Lockport Township High School spent the 2001 season with the Cubs during his nine-year career.
Hollandsworth, 40, currently is a Cubs studio analyst for Comcast Sports Net Chicago and co-host an MLB Network radio show. He played for the Cubs in 2004-05 during his 11-year career that started in 1996 when he won National League rookie of the year honors with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since the coming season appears increasingly likely to be the Cubs last one on WGN, the new color analyst’s contract is expected to be transferable to the team’s next radio outlet.
WGN radio’s and WGN-TV’s contracts with the Cubs end after the 2014 and there does appear to be another AM radio station in the Chicago market for the Cubs. WSCR 670 carries Chicago White Sox games and WMVP ESPN 1000 carries national programming shows, which they are unlikely to set aside for Cubs games.