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...
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...
CSN Chicago President Jim Corno passed away today. Senior Director of Communications Jeff Nuich posted a CSN tribute to Jim on the CSNChicago.com website (link).
And below you'll find the Comcast SportsNet Chicago statement-- (from Phil Bedella – VP/GM, Comcast SportsNet Chicago)
Jim Corno (President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago) passes away at the age of 66...
Comcast SportsNet, the local television station owned by the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, White Sox and NBC, has signed veteran Illinois high school football sports writer/recruiting authority Edgy Tim, also known as Tim O’Halloran, to be its local preps football expert effective August 1.
Edgy Tim (@EDGYTIM) is often featured on Rivals, which is owned by Yahoo. Even people like me, who despise National Signing Day, hate recruiting, can’t stand preps coverage, unfollow people who constantly tweet out high school sports and recruiting news, still recognize the talent and ability of Edgy Tim. He's at the very top of his specific game; no question...
I really do love the Chicago Blackhawks“hit the ice” introduction video. The CGI effects are top notch.
However, the very first thing I noticed in the vid is Coach Quenneville’s faux “media session.”
There are only three microphones placed under Coach Q: WGN TV, WGN Radio and Comcast SportsNet; the Blackhawks three broadcast partners. Now why would a front-runner franchise even bother doing this? Why have any corporate media logos? Or instead throw in more media outlets and make the fake presser look genuine? Still, this is ultimately meaningless minutia; at least compared to the more important thoughts that it provokes.
If you’re a media outlet who also broadcasts a team regularly, you are no longer a true news-gathering agency. At least not in regards to that specific team. You are beholden to that franchise and your on-air talent are de facto PR representatives; not reporters or journalists...
As most of you know by now, I had a slip-up last week on the air while covering the Blackhawks playoff series. As a result of the attention it received, an old web-based sports comedy series I participated in several years ago came to light. The intention of that show was to present a satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach to sports but, unfortunately, some of the material it contained was off-color and offensive. I understand why some may have been offended by it and for this I am truly sorry. To be clear, that show in no way reflects my personal opinions.
It has always been my dream to cover my hometown teams on the network I loved watching. I have worked tirelessly to develop my skills as a sports reporter, anchor and host, and I want to thank the city of Chicago for allowing me that opportunity. The outpouring of support I have received is overwhelming and it will remain in my heart, as will Chicago. Always.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and ChicagoNow.
He's been a featured guest in dozens of media outlets including The History Channel. His work has been cited in hundreds of publications including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.