The Cubs made it official during a press conference on Thursday afternoon at Wrigley Field. WBBM-AM will be the new radio home of the Chicago Cubs starting with the 2015 season. The news surfaced Tuesday night the Cubs had finalized a seven-year contract with the CBS Radio to be the Cubs flagship station.
WBBM-AM 780 is set to broadcast regular season, postseason and select Spring Training games with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer moving with the team to call the games. Crane Kenney said Thursday it was non-negotiable that Pat Hughes would be calling games for the Cubs on the new station. Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer are under contract through the 2015 season.
While the financial terms of the seven-year deal have not been leaked, the Tribune reported “the cash portion of the Cubs new deal is believed to be less than what WGN is currently paying because of added promotional support and revenue opportunities through concert and event co-promotion.” WGN was paying around $10 million per season. Crane Kenney said the Cubs deal with CBS Radio is a “game-changing partnership.”
The Cubs deal with CBS Radio “is part of a multi-year sports and entertainment partnership that also includes several promotional initiatives across all seven of CBS Radio’s local Chicago stations and the company’s digital and social platforms.” The Cubs and CBS Radio “will work jointly to create and produce live music events to be hosted at Wrigley Field.” The stations in Chicago include 670 The Score and 93 WXRT.
Crane Kenney said Thursday the team is very excited to be partnered with CBS and “develop unique activities and events that will entertain the millions of Cubs fans and visitors who come to Wrigley Field each year.”
Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, called Thursday “truly a historic day in Chicago Radio.” Mr. Zimmerman said the deal was a “win-win” for the station and described landing the Cubs as “marquee oceanfront property.”
CBS Radio “plans to replicate the Cubs Radio Network in the Midwest” according to a report from Carrie Muskat.