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Media notes: Cubs are not long for WGN America

WGN America is being converted into a basic cable channel, which will require dumping Cubs, Bulls and White Sox game broadcasts, according to report
by Mel Bracht Published: June 12, 2014

The days of the Chicago Cubs, and other sports programming, appearing on WGN America appear to be numbered.

According to Chain’s Chicago Business, Tribune CEO Peter Liguori is in the process of converting WGN America, the company’s national broadcast channel, from a superstation into a basic cable channel, which will require dumping Cubs, Bulls, and White Sox game broadcasts.

“If the Cubs continue on this path to virtual irrelevancy, it’s really not going to matter,” Liguori said at a recent New York media conference. “When you look at the Bulls, the White Sox, the Cubs and the Blackhawks, outside of the greater Chicago (designated market area), they really do lose their attraction.”

Advertising income from that sports programming contributes just $250,000 to the station’s income, Liguori said.

Diehard fans of the Cubs, and other Chicago sports teams, likely will be need to buy an out-of-market sports package to follow their teams on a regular basis.

Short takes

CBS has named Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts its No. 2 NFL broadcast team for the upcoming season. Reporter Tracy Wolfson joins Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on the No. 1 team. Greg Gumbel will team with newcomer Trent Green, a former NFL quarterback. Other pairings include Kevin Harlan with Rich Gannon, Spero Dedes with Solomon Wilcots, and Andrew Catalon forming a three-man booth with Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein.

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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