Cubs leaving radio home WGN

 

The Sports Network

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Cubs will have a new home on radio next season.

WGN-AM 720 has broadcast Cubs games for 90 years, but executives of the radio station on Wednesday said a new deal could not be agreed upon after lengthy talks.

"We're really proud of our longtime association with the Chicago Cubs, but it has to make good business sense," said WGN radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro on Steve Cochran's radio program Wednesday morning. "The current arrangement just doesn't make good business sense.

"We've spoken in the last year with the Cubs about trying to figure out a way to make that work. We've offered them plenty of options and opportunity and they've chosen that they want a straight cash partnership. Another broadcaster is willing to put up money that we just don't think makes sense for the economics of managing our business, our shareholders, our audience."

The Chicago Tribune has reported that the Cubs will move to WBBM-AM 780. An official announcement, according to the paper, is expected Thursday.

"Sports broadcast rights, across the board, continue to go up and up and up," said Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert on the morning program. "At some point, it just doesn't make sense."

The Tribune reports the new radio deal with WBBM is valued at about $10 million.

WGN began broadcasting Cubs games in 1924, but other stations also carried the games. WGN became the exclusive home to the Cubs in 1958.

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