Reports: WGN Waives Right To Match Deal, So Cubs Headed To WBBM
June 4, 2014 at 3:29 AM (PT)
The buzz over the CHICAGO CUBS changing radio flagships is increasing, as the recent talk (NET NEWS 5/30) that longtime flagship TRIBUNE News-Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO has bowed out of the running is being reinforced by reports at ROBERTFEDER.COM that WGN has indeed waived its right to match any offer and at the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES that the CUBS will announce a deal with CBS RADIO at a press conference on THURSDAY morning.
WGN Pres./GM JIMMY DECASTRO told FEDER that WGN had pulled out of the running because, "The economics of the deal that we inherited (from previous TRIBUNE Chairman SAM ZELL after selling the CUBS to the RICKETTS family in 2009) did not make business sense."
The deal, FEDER reported, loses WGN $6 million a year. DECASTRO added, "it’s really not us saying we don’t want them anymore. It’s the CUBS saying that the economics they need are much greater than what we think they’re worth or what we’ll pay. They chose to go another way economically and made a decision to move on.”
While CBS RADIO SVP/Market Manager ROD ZIMMERMAN did not comment to FEDER, both the SUN-TIMES and FEDER echoed the CHICAGO TRIBUNE's report last week that the CUBS will air on News WBBM-A, although whether the games will simulcast on WBBM's FM simulcast signal WCFS or whether the stations will split programming during game broadcasts is unclear, and FEDER added that the CUBS could move to Sports WSCR-A (670 THE SCORE) under the seven-year CBS deal if the station loses the rights to WHITE SOX games after that contract expires after next season.