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.
Crane said an announcement on TV rights could come before opening day and the new video board will be up in left field in 2015.
I’ve heard rumors that Bulls and White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf potentially involved in a new Cubs television rights package. Again this is uncomfirmed, and reaching out the Reinsdorf camp about this has predictably made the trial turn cold. Then again what do you expect The Chairman to say/do? He’s not going to do anything to potentially derail his deal
Kenney on radio rights yesterday “We expect to have an announcement on our radio rights before opening day .”
Crane says Cubs are discussing a smaller package of games on WGN, but admits they could leave the superstation after 2014. Crane says Cubs are talking with WGN and other radio outlets. Like the radio deal, a decision on television is expected before Opening Day.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said earlier in the day that he hopes the WGN partnership continues, but there are no guarantees regarding the TV future for the Cubs: “We don’t know. There’s a lot of variables.”
Crane Kenny and this panel. It was the grown up segment of Cubs Convention. It’s the session where tough important questions are asked and real topics that really matter are discussed. It was a bit paradoxical in that it’s most interesting/valuable and the most boring/dry at the same time. Just to make it even more of a contradiction, I intentionally did my photo-opp with Clark the mascot directly before walking in to the session. Crane Kenney gave us some business school slides during his presentation, used a lot of corporatespeak and made me feel like I was back in MBA school needing to bone up on Six Sigma and Operations Throughput Analysis before the big midterm on Tuesday.
Okay, there’s a time and space to: appreciate Clark, hear Anthony Rizzo joke about scoping out hot babes in the stands with Darwin Barney, hear Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer make wisecracks about the fatalism of Cubs Nation and listen to new manager Rick Renteria’s cliches about grit, grindiness and extremist optimism. oOr advance screenings of soon to be released Wrigley Field 100 propaganda films.
However, this session with Crane Kenney was not it. This panel was for critical thinking.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments discussing: Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Bears and Bulls on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)
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