Jim Corno, a beloved, admired and respected broadcast executive who led Comcast SportsNet Chicago and its predecessors in Chicago for three decades, died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 66.
“When it came to Chicago sports television, no one worked harder and had more passion for delivering these events to us night after night than Jim,” Jeff Nuich, senior director of communications for Comcast SportsNet, wrote in an online tribute. “Simply put, every regional sports network this city has ever known — SportsVision, SportsChannel, Fox Sports Net and Comcast SportsNet — has been run by only one individual: Jim Corno.”
Nuich wrote: “The world lost a great man today as Jim’s courageous and heroic battle against cancer came to an end. . . . There are no words to express our sorrow to the entire Corno family. There are no words to describe the heart-breaking loss we, as he liked to call us, his ‘second family,’ are feeling right now. As much as Jim loved what he helped create three-plus decades ago, each and every one of us who ever worked for him knew how much he loved us. We are all honored and blessed to have had him in our lives.”
Here is the full text of the statement from Phil Bedella, vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
I am deeply saddened to share the news that our leader, mentor and dearest friend Jim Corno, Sr. passed away this morning. He was 66. Jim battled his cancer to the very end with both courage and determination.
Jim has been the leader of every regional sports network in Chicago TV history dating back to 1984. He was a pioneer in our industry in every sense of the word. He was also a gifted executive, but his everyday common man approach to business is what set him aside from everyone else. It didn’t matter if you were his peer or just someone trying to break into the industry. He treated everyone he met with respect and there’s no question when he spoke to you, you knew you were the most important person in his life at that moment.
He looked at all of us as a member of his family and, for that, we can be grateful because we always had someone looking out for us each and every day. The sports television world may have lost one of its brightest stars, but the world has lost one of its greatest people. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves and continuing to evolve the network he cared for so much and helped build so many years ago. Simply put, we were all blessed to have Jim as part of our lives.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s greatest loves, his wife, Carolyn, his children, Jim Jr. and Christina, his daughter-in-law Lori, his son-in-law Bennett, and his grandsons Jackson, Max, Mitchell, Joseph and Scott.
In lieu of flowers, the Corno family has asked donations be made to the oncology fund at the Edward Foundation, 801 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL 60540 in honor of Jim.