The 2014 Chicago Cubs and the 2014 Chicago White Sox announce their very first commercial telecasts this weekend. Comcast SportsNet Chicago will present the Sox spring training game (Saturday, March 15 vs. LA Dodgers from Camelback Ranch in Glendale, AZ – 9:00 PM CST) and Sunday, March 16 Cubs vs. Cleveland from Cubs Park in Mesa, AZ – 3:00 PM CST
In place of ads, CSN will showcase new one-on-one player interviews with new and veteran players from both sides of town, along with in-depth player profiles, numerous feature stories and much more. All of us are over-inundated with advertising in every aspect of our daily lives; so a relief from that is welcomed. I think we've all seen way too many Nissan commercials in our lives, and that STUPID Wendy's ciabatta burger commercial just never stops. It's a novelty that the spot features Ron Zook's daughter, but it doesn't make the Wendy's add any less annoying. How can you boycott a restaurant that you would never go to in the first place?
Moving on, you know and I know that for both baseball teams, it's more about the young nucleus coming up, and the prospects in the pipeline than it is the veterans. What's more intriguing and relevant are the guys who have just arrived on the team/will arrive soon. Not the guys who have been there for awhile. On both sides of town.
“We wanted to start off our coverage of the 2014 Chicago baseball season in a big way by taking the time we would normally air commercials and provide some very unique content for our viewers,” said CSN Chicago GM Phil Bedella...
Yes Network reporter Sarah Kustok is back in her hometown of Orland Park, Illinois today. She will be at the courthouse in Bridgeview Thursday morning as the state of Illinois' case against her father, Allan Kustok continues. He is on trial for murdering his wife Jeanie Kustok; Sarah's mother.
Sarah Kustok is a current Brooklyn Nets television presenter formerly of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. She has been subpoenaed by the court and will testify on behalf of her father's defense. Sarah was back in Chicago when jury selection began in the murder case against her father, but in between the start of the trial and her testimony, she flew back to New York and resumed her duties with the Brooklyn NBA team.
This past Saturday, Sarah Kustok even called the women's game between DePaul and Marquette on Fox Sports 1. It's amazing and extremely commendable that she can focus on work at an extremely trying time such as this...
Stadium Series is here.
The Chicago Blackhawks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins at the home of the Chicago Bears. It's a hockey game that's both local and national in it's magnitude. So it's fitting that we have two local Hawks icons involved in calling/previewing the game. Also, the NHL's primary broadcast partner, NBC, is parent company to the Blackhawks primary local broadcast partner, Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
It's the first outdoor NHL hockey game to be ever broadcast in prime time. So I enlisted the help of some Blackhawks and hockey experts to preview the Stadium Series. Throughout this preview, you'll be hearing from:
Blackhawks legend and NBC hockey AnalystJeremy Roenick, NBC NHL Analyst Mike Milbury,Scott King, Contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal,RedEye Chicago (Facebook Hawk Crazy) Penguins star Sidney Crosby, icon of the NHL and Team Canada, His Olympic teammate and Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp, and Kevin Cross Comcast SportsNet Chicago News Director...
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...
Chicago Bears Tight End Martellus Bennett was awarded the "Bear of the Year" Award at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards last night. He should get "Soundbite of the Year" as well. Bennett is the best sports soundbite in the city right now and probably the best Chicago sports interview since Adam Burish.
He's also the best Bears interview subject since Jim McMahon and he owned the room during his acceptance speech last night at the Hilton Chicago International Ballroom. The "Orange Dino" (one of his many nicknames) was hilarious, insightful and inspirational during his time on stage at the live awards ceremony hosted by David Kaplan.
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. Over $400,000 was raised benefiting the March of Dimes.
"The real reason we're here is for the kids," said Martellus Bennett encouraging children to be creative "because imagination is how children will come up with solutions to the problems that we have."
"I wanna lead by example, to be creative," continued Martysaurus Rex (I told you Martellus Bennett has like 40 nicknames).
"Where I'm from, you feel like you have to dribble a ball or catch a football to get out of the hood, but I want kids to know that you can get scholarships for creative writing, band, film, you can do all kinds of things."
As Martellus said, "it's frowned upon to be a creative guy and play sports," and "Everybody's BFF" is doing everything he can to change that...
On Monday, February 10th David Kaplan will host as some of Chicago’s current and former professional athletes receiving honors at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards. The Live Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet (7:30 PM) from the Hilton Chicago (International Ballroom).
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. The proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes
This year’s honorees include:
Martellus Bennett (Bear of the Year) Patrick Sharp (Blackhawk of the Year)
Nazr Mohammed (Bull of the Year) Welington Castillo (Cub of the Year)
Nate Jones (White Sox of the Year) Mike Magee (Fire of the Year)
Stan Mikita (Lifetime Achievement) Alyssa Gialamas (Inspirational Athlete Award)
Tickets are $400 per person. To purchase tickets to the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please call Kate Adams at (312) 596-4721 or visit CSNChicago.com/sportsawards26
Now we move on to an exclusive discussion of sports media and sports that David Kaplan and I had by phone recently...
David Kaplan is certainly a local sports media figure who truly needs no introduction.
He's a columnist, radio and television personality who hosts The David Kaplan Show on WGN Radio (weekdays 7 to midnight) and Sports Talk Live, a daily sports roundtable discussion show on Comcast SportsNet in Chicago (Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m.) He also co-authored the award winning Around Town column in the Chicago Tribune with Fred Mitchell from 2009-2011.
David Kaplan is also the pre and postgame host for CSN's Chicago Cubs broadcasts where he partners with former Chicago Cubs outfielder and 1996 National League Rookie of the Year Todd Hollandsworth.
Kaplan grew up in Skokie and is a graduate of Hamline University. He formerly was a basketball coach at Northern Illinois University, and a scout for two NBA teams: the Indiana Pacers and the Seattle SuperSonics. Kaplan worked at WMVP-AM before joining WGN's sports staff as a reporter in 1995.
In part one of this three part series, The Kapman and I discuss the biggest trending Cubs topics right now. Off the heels of the annual Cubs Convention, there are some important Cubs topics making the news. Look for part two next week discussing: media, media criticism, balancing being a journalist and being a fan, and how players and coaches react to criticism...
Pat Hughes has a voice that is so beautiful, he could be talking for three hours about aluminum siding, and I'd be captivated the whole time. You don't have to like Chicago Cubs baseball to enjoy the work of Pat Hughes. Which is fitting I guess because the Cubs, the 4th most valuable brand in Major League Baseball, are the team of choice for so many people who don't actually like baseball and don't actually care about watching the games.
Yesterday, at the second day of Cubs Convention, when discussing a possible move from WGN radio, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Crane Kenney said Pat Hughes "is coming with us." So that makes a lot of Cubs, and Pat Hughes fans, happy.
But there was more Cubs media rights news/discussion, beyond Pat Hughes...
Chicago White Sox legend and Comcast SportsNet Chicago analyst Frank Thomas is a first ballot Hall of Famer; as we expected.
CSN Chicago will cover the Frank Thomas H.O.F. story like a glove. Here are the specifics...
Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate
Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
Former political writer for Washington Times.com, NBC Chicago.com and numerous business journals
Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs.
Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.