WLS wins White Sox radio rights

U.S. Cellular Field

U.S. Cellular Field

In a crosstown radio coup, White Sox baseball will air on WLS AM 890 starting next season, sources said Tuesday.

Agreement on a six-year deal between the team and the Cumulus Media news/talk station is expected to be finalized this week, according to insiders. Financial terms are not known.

WLSAM 890

WLSAM 890

WLS beat out two other 50,000-watt AM stations, including CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670, which has been the radio home of the White Sox since 2006. Also vying for the broadcast rights was Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720.

Peter Bowen, vice president and Chicago market manager of Cumulus Media, declined to comment. But the White Sox deal is believed to be part of a plan to revive the moribund station of Big John Howell, Jonathon Brandmeier, Rush Limbaugh and Steve Dahl. The latest Nielsen Audio survey shows WLS in 29th place with a 1.1 percent share and a cumulative weekly audience of 343,600. Revenue declined 27.5 percent last year.

Wait, there’s more: When all the dust settles, Cubs baseball could be on the move again, too.

With the White Sox leaving The Score after the current season, CBS Radio is all but certain to move the Cubs to The Score. After WGN severed its historic association with the Cubs last year, CBS Radio signed the team to a seven-year deal now in effect on Newsradio WBBM AM 780. The contract allows a one-time relocation to The Score in 2016.