Notebook: WGN 87.7 The Game, Kelly Crull, CSN Spring Training, Northwestern Social Media

Notebook: WGN 87.7 The Game, Kelly Crull, CSN Spring Training, Northwestern Social Media

Very big news today as we now have a third sports talk radio station, WGN Radio's 87.7 FM The Game, to compete with CBS' WSCR 670 The Score and ESPN MVP AM 1000. The Game is the local sports media story that everyone is talking about just like Kelly Crull, of Comcast SportsNet Chicago is the one sports media personality that everyone is talking about. We'll go into detail on both in this notebook.

We'll also cover the trend of college basketball coaches trashing Twitter and social media, and get thoughts from Northwestern's Chris Collins on the matter. We'll also cover Comcast SportsNet producing a very compelling special on White Sox World Series hero Bobby Jenks and much more


-As Robert Feder first reported The Game is on:

"Tribune Broadcasting is leasing the signal of WKQX LP 87.7 through September 2015. The call letters are expected to be changed to WGWG by midweek, pending government approval...Mornings will lead off with Jonathon Brandmeier (who’ll also continue to be heard online on the virtual station The rest of the day will be sports-oriented, starting with veteran WGN sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays. WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith will host early afternoons, followed by the duo of Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton in late afternoons. WGN’s Mark Carman will be on in evenings, followed by overnight programming from NBC Sports Radio. WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will be a full-time sports reporter."

Feder goes on to mention that The David Kaplan Show will no longer be heard on WGN 720 AM and Pete McMurray will be moved up into that slot.


You can follow The Game on Twitter, and on Facebook

-CSN Chicago Spring Training coverage.

“15 Games in 16 Days” (nine White Sox and six Cubs) beginning Friday, March 14 at 3:00 PM.

SportsNet Central’s Kelly Crull will be in Mesa filing reports through Feb. 19. Cubs Pre/Postgame Live host David Kaplan begins his Cubs coverage starting Mar. 20 for both SportsTalk Live and SportsNet Central through Mar. 27.


As you might expect, people chat me up about local sports media figures all the time. As they should, it's what I do. Kelly Crull is the one personality that everyone has been asking me about during the past month or so; and by an overwhelming margin. She's a Comcast SportsNet presenter, who's appearance at Cubs Convention drew very long lines of autograph seekers. And as you'd expect, search engine users are very interested in her too.

-Kelly Crull is a Fox Sports reporter/host based in San Diego. You’ve seen her covering Padres games in MLB, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. Kelly Crull, 28, hosts San Diego Padres weekly, the video magazine show on Fox Sports. She covers the Padres along with  Megan Olivi and  Laura McKeeman.

Click Olivi and McKeeman's names for photos and biographies. Here's all three pictured together below


-From a White Sox standpoint, White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien will file daily reports from Camelback Ranch in Glendale for SportsTalk Live and SportsNet Central through Feb. 19 with SportsNet Central’s Jen Lada taking over the Sox beat from Mar. 20-27. For, White Sox “Insider” Dan Hayes will file the latest White Sox news, player/coaches interviews and much more for both Comcast SportsNet and

-Bobby Jenks is best remembered as the rookie closer on the 2005 Chicago White Sox World Series championship team. Jenks has the third most saves in White Sox history, and was often clocked above 100 mph on his pitches. Bobby Jenks once registered 102 m.p.h. during a 2009 game at Safeco Field.

However, the life of Bobby Jenks off the field is an even more interesting and compelling story, as a CSN Chicago special reveals. Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with former Jenks. It’s a very candid discussion, recorded at Soxfest last weekend, as Bobby Jenks describes his first back surgery operation which led to massive physical/mental complications, his addiction to painkillers, being on the mound during the last out of the ’05 series, the historic city celebration that ensued, and much more.

Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Inside Look with Bobby Jenks on the following dates/times: Tue, Feb 18 at 12:30pm – Thu, Feb 20 at 9:30pm – Sat, Feb 22 at 5pm – Mon, Feb 24 at 4:30pm – Tue, Feb 25 at 9pm & Fri, Feb 28 at 11:30pm




-(screen grab above is from Fox Sports Live on Fox Sports 1) I asked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Coach Richard Pitino about the top trending topic in college basketball this week- that would be Twitter. Quite a few big name college hoops coaches publicly discussed social media and the adverse effect it’s having on their programs and players. Following the Golden Gophers 54-48 win at Northwestern, Richard Pitino gave a very colorful and insightful answer to my question.

-Some excerpts from Pitino during his time at the podium in Evanston

"Don’t tweet about what you had for dinner, nobody cares.”

“Don’t tweet about where you are, nobody cares.”

“We’re not interested in what restaurant you’re going to or what movie you’re watching, but you got to let them be themselves too now.”

big ten-tom-izzo

-First a little background. Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo got this party started on Monday by saying he hates Twitter, and that he’s a proud social media basher on the Big Ten coaches conference call. Then Izzo doubled down on his comments the very next day when having a session with his local media.

ESPN College Gameday came to Lexington Saturday morning, and John Calipari discussed how he hired someone to run his Twitter account for him, and that he never reads any of the @mentions he receives on the micro-blogging platform. Coach Cal also talked about how much Twitter amplifies everything and that he can’t care about what people who’ve never met him think about him and his team.

Saturday night, Ohio State Coach Thad Matta brought up the negative effects of living in a 140 or less character world in his press conference after Ohio State won at Illinois. This was very odd, as the question posed to Matta was about the terrible season the Illini are having. It had nothing to do with Twitter. Weird, it’s almost like there was a coaches summit held somewhere, and they decided to set this topic as the main talking point of the week.

(That’s a joke of course! I don’t actually believe they colluded to have an public roll-out of their anti-social media agenda)


-So then I asked Chris Collins about his team and their Twitter policies:

"Our guys are good. I follow them so I add to their followers, I'm part of their TwitFams or whatever they call them, but in today's day and age, kids are going to be on it, you've got to try and monitor it the best you can. I know I have great guys, we have a together group, if they want to use it for fun, that's part of kids growing up"

Before the school year all athletes at Northwestern undergo social media training. They are taught about how to manage Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Linked In, google+ etc.

"I know it's been a big topic of conversation, and it's a big part of our culture right now, but we haven't had a problem with it," Collins continued.


Last year's cover

-Also, the 2014 SI Swimsuit edition comes out tomorrow. It's the 50th anniversary edition. Meaning there's a long-standing tradition of avant garde media pushing the boundaries, photogs presenting the very best in the art of photography and....boobies.

Paul M. Banks owns The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBCCBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)

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