What once was unthinkable has now happened.
The 90-year relationship between the Chicago Cubs organization and 720 AM WGN will come to a close at the end of the 2014 season, according to multiple reports from Chicago-area reporters Robert Channick and Gordon Wittenmeyer.
Channick offered the following synopsis of the situation:
Sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday night that the Cubs have signed a long-term deal with the CBS-owned station to carry the team’s games beginning next season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources said it also involves promotion with other CBS Radio stations in Chicago.
After the team’s struggles of late, WGN chose to re-open its radio contract with the organization after it was reportedly losing money during the broadcasts and it quickly became clear that there was considerable space between the two sides. According to multiple reports, WGN had the opportunity to match the CBS offer that secured the long-term deal that moved the team to WBBM 780 next year, but elected not to.
Tom Loxas reported on Twitter that the new deal is worth somewhere in the ballpark of $12 million annually, as opposed to the $10 million the organization previously received. As noted, however, the first shot was fired by the station itself, not the organization.
The staple of Cubs broadcasts for some time now, play-by-play man Pat Hughes, will move over to WBBM along with color analyst and former Cubs infielder Ron Coomer.
More details will follow as they become available at cubbiescrib.com.