Confirming a report here last month, the Cubs will shift to the sports/talk station from all-news WBBM AM 780, where they aired for the past season. CBS Radio had a one-time option to move the team to The Score, under terms of its seven-year rights agreement.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with CBS Radio and join Chicago’s top sports station,” Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Cubs, said in a statement. “With the broadcast team continuing to deliver great coverage, our first year with CBS was outstanding, and we look forward to many more to come on WSCR.”
Considering the Cubs’ recent success and popularity, it’s a home run for The Score and program director Mitch Rosen.
The decision was prompted by the departure of Chicago White Sox baseball broadcasts after 10 years on The Score. Under a six-year deal starting this spring, the White Sox will move to Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890.
“We had an outstanding 2015 with the Cubs and couldn’t be prouder to be aligned with such a great partner,” Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement provides a year-round platform for the city’s beloved sports franchise on Chicago’s heritage all-sports radio station. With the Bears on WBBM and the Cubs among our portfolio, we can offer fans the best in sports play-by-play while still delivering the news and information most impactful to the local community.”
Both the top-rated and top-billing station in the market, WBBM Newsradio returns to a full-time simulcast with WCFS FM 105.9. While Cubs games aired on the AM station, the FM station continued the news format.
Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer are expected to continue in the Cubs broadcast booth next season, with Mark Grote back for pregame and postgame duties.
Along with all 162 regular season games, the agreement also calls for live broadcasts from Wrigley Field and the neighborhood, several joint promotional initiatives, and weekly appearances by Cubs manager Joe Maddon on Matt Spiegel and Jason Goff’s midday show.
CBS Radio won the broadcast rights in 2014 after Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720 chose to drop its historic but money-losing association with the Cubs.