Veteran sports talk show personality Mike North will host a Chicago Bears postgame show this fall on WDRV FM 97.1, the Hubbard Radio classic hits station announced Friday.
Starting September 13, North will host “The Mike North Sunday Drive,” a three-hour live talk show after every Bears game. Throughout the season he’ll also call in on Fridays and Mondays to Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil’s morning show on The Drive.
“Timing for this show just feels right,” said Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming for Hubbard Radio. “All the football experts are predicting a rough year for our beloved Bears, so fans will want and need a place to sound off after the games. As The Drive continues our evolution into more of a Chicago lifestyle station, this is the perfect chance for us to experiment and bring in a superstar like Mike North. Mike is truly authentic — and he’s all Chicago.”
It’s the latest addition to the postgame program competition since the demise of Ed O’Bradovich and Doug Buffone’s celebrated show on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670:
- After Buffone died in April, O’Bradovich joined Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, where he’ll host a postgame show with Dan Hampton and Glen Kozlowski.
- The Score this week announced Olin Kreutz, James “Big Cat” Williams and Hub Arkush as hosts of its new postgame show.
- CBS Radio all-news combo WBBM AM 780 and WCFS FM 105.9, home of Bears play-by-play, follows its broadcasts with locker room interviews with head coach John Fox and players. Then former Jay Hilgenberg and Jim Schwantz join Ron Gleason taking calls.
- ESPN sports/talk WMVP AM 1000 features Steve “Mongo” McMichael, Jeff Dickerson, Fred Huebner and Ben Finfer after each game.
With listener loyalties and advertiser dollars up for grabs, North offers an unpredictable alternative among the crowd of Sunday afternoon talkers.
“I’m sort of like almost like Trump in this equation now,” North said, comparing himself to wild card Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “The loudmouth is coming in. I think things are going to change a lot.”
The addition of a sports talk show on an unadulterated FM music station would have seemed unlikely until last March when The Drive hired McNeil to co-host its new morning show with McMurray. Given McNeil’s 30 years in sports radio, his presence has redefined the station and its appeal to men between 25 and 54 (where the show currently ranks third in the market).
“I’ve known Danny since 1992, and it warms my heart so see that we’re going to be back together again,” said North, who worked with McNeil at The Score and was its biggest star for 16 years until 2008. “Hopefully there will be many more things to come. But I’m very happy with my situation. I’m thrilled that I’ve landed at a reputable place with the arrow pointing up. I am absolutely ecstatic about this.”
There are no plans to team him with McNeil, but North isn’t ruling it out: “I’m going to try my best to talk him into doing some shows with me if he can. I think it would be great.”
North is keeping his day job as co-host of “Fox Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman, which airs outside Chicago from 5 to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports Radio.