After a one-year detour on one station and a strong overture from another, veteran White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone has agreed to return to CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670 as its resident baseball expert.
“It’s great to have one of the best baseball analysts in the game back on the Score,” program director Mitch Rosen said in a statement Thursday. “Steve is truly the best at breaking down and talking about both the White Sox and Cubs. Steve’s brand along with the Score brand is a Chicago sports radio home run.”
Starting March 10, Stone is expected to appear several times each week on all of the Score’s prime shows and occasionally on weekends, Rosen said.
Stone had been a fixture on the Score for more than seven years before he signed on last year with Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 as its baseball correspondent. The station’s brief flirtation with sports all but ended last month with cancellation of its low-rated 5 p.m. sports hour on Roe Conn and Richard Roeper’s afternoon show.
Before agreeing to the Score deal, which was negotiated by agent Steve Mandell, Stone was heavily courted by WGWG LP 87.7, the new Tribune Broadcasting sports/talk station known as The Game 87.7 FM. He was blocked from accepting the offer by CBS Radio bosses, according to multiple sources, after the Score exercised its right as the White Sox flagship station to veto his work for a direct competitor.
The brief tug-of-war over Stone was the latest skirmish in what’s shaping up as a spirited battle among the city’s sports talkers. Earlier this week, The Game 87.7 picked off the Score’s midday producer and weekend host, Ben Finfer.
Meanwhile, The Game 87.7 confirmed plans Thursday to hire Todd Hollandsworth as its “exclusive baseball insider” and host of his own weekly baseball show, starting this weekend. Hollandsworth, a former Cub and veteran of MLB Network Radio and Cubs’ pre- and post-game shows on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, had been a finalist for the Cubs color commentary job on Tribune news/talk WGN AM 720.
Also starting this week on The Game 87.7 is overnight programming supplied by NBC Sports Radio, whose program director is Chicago native Jack Silver, the former program director of WLUP AM 1000 (precursor to ESPN Radio’s WMVP AM 1000). The network’s interactive talk shows feature Super Bowl champion Amani Toomer and co-host Eytan Shander from 10 p.m. to midnight, followed by Dan Schwartzman from midnight to 5 a.m.