White Sox, WGN agree to multiyear radio deal

New flagship station two weeks after bankruptcy court dissolves deal with WLS

It’s not always a good idea to start a relationship around Valentine’s Day, but the White Sox may have ended up with the one they should’ve been with all along.

I’m referring to their radio rights, of course. After being spurned by WLS-AM 890 in Cumulus Media’s bankruptcy proceedings a fortnight ago, the White Sox officially announced a new flagship deal with WGN-AM 720 this morning. The station announced a “multiyear” deal, and Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson will remain on the call.

The reaction to Bruce Levine’s original report last week was enthusiastic, both among those in the industry and the audience for such games. Those who worked with WGN Sports said the station was a strong partner for the Sox, not just in terms of signal, but also in the way they promoted the Blackhawks. Those on the receiving end looked forward to a stronger signal and less toxic programming surrounding the games.

WGN was supposedly an interested party the last time around, but WLS landed both the White Sox and Bulls in a deal the struggling station hoped would stabilize its programming. The relationship ended up being more codependent than healthy, and WLS wriggled out of it when Cumulus Media lobbied to reject its contracts with both teams. The Bulls immediately moved to WSCR-AM 670, the White Sox’ previous home before the shift to WLS.

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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This would work best with Bob Elson on play-by-play.


Maybe we’ll get to hear Renteria do interviews the next day on Wally Phillip’s show.  


I know it was too tall of an order to also get some new voices in the booth, but at least it’s settled. Funny that Hawk is the one famous for being a bad broadcaster, when over on the same team’s radio feed is some truly dire listening.  
Thankfully if I’m on AtBat it’s easy to bail out and check out the other team’s feed. And it’s just interesting to hear the ‘outside’ perspectives on the team.


Hawk, while not great, is at least endearing. He has personality, fun catch phrases and passion.

Farmer has none of those. His only strength is his odd anti-chemistry with DJ. I wish we still had Rooney.

Reindeer Games

They both suck. Hawk’s just derided more because most people don’t listen to the radio for baseball.

Greg Nix

Odd anti-chemistry is such a good description. 

Trooper Galactus

For a guy who pitched over a decade in MLB, you’d think Farmer would at least be able to identify pitches.
Ed: “What was that, something like a slider?”

DJ: “Fastball, 98 miles per hour.”

The Wimperoo

Agree with the sentiments expressed. Farmio and DJ make my ears bleed.
But hey it’s pitchers and catchers time! Don’t worry, be happy.


I miss when 720 had Garry Meier. Well this is of course still great news. Hopefully with WGN’s brand and exposure along with what we all hope will be the sox’s rise on the field the ol’ S O X will back or even ascends what it was before!

Josh Nelson

Well, I guess I don’t have to add KATOH Top 100 prospects to the database.

karkovice squad

Why not? He already published the 2018 list.

Josh Nelson

It has about 40 players that no other publication has.

karkovice squad

One thing that would be interesting is seeing where KATOH has them relative to a 20-80 grade, Sickels’ rating, and by team.


That’s kind of the point. All the other prospect lists are kind of just rehashes of each other. KATOH brings a different perspective.


That’s too bad for us fans, but good for him.

lil jimmy

So, between the the White Sox and WGN, who gives flowers to who ?


whoever claims them once they arent tendered.

karkovice squad

They’re both in a really sensitive place right now and want to be slow and careful so that this isn’t just a rebound relationship.


In squintably correlated news, a few days into the new SSS regime and I am already tired of it.  I personally was hoping both sites would have my daily views, but I will save those only for you, Jim.  


Let’s not go there, OK?


Well, not really because I already said it and stand by it. Not my fault if YOU want to pussy foot around it. 


Try again. I’m giving it a chance. Go ahead and contact the masthead over there and share with them your issues. I’m so glad you’re showing YOUR strengths by lashing out on another blog.


I was enjoying MK, all the new stuff, not so much. 

Patrick Nolan

Mike did a really good job in his month at the helm.

karkovice squad

Yeah, showed good range for a mostly 1-writer show. A lot of overlap in the coverage though but that was to be expected.

Looking forward to seeing how their frontpage finds its own voice now even if it means some off-notes while they figure it out.

Reindeer Games

It’s like when Mom and Dad get divorced but are still civil in front of us kids.


Hector Santiago signs. He was my prime offseason suggestion, so I am happy. Spring training will be an interesting process of weeding out all the NRI pitchers with major-league experience.


link: Hector Signs

lil jimmy

Well, this is a big fucking deal !
Didn’t see it coming. Hector is a stand up guy.


Are we doing enthusiasm on a curve now?


I like the Hector signing. I was hoping for it even before Miggy re-inked. He just turned 30 and if healthy, he could make good sign and trade and it not, yeah a starter or reliever I’d be way more excited to see over Chris Volstad-types. Plus he’s lefty, which we seem short on rotation-wise. Plus, as others have mentioned – he’s a good dude. Like it.


Though I loved Eaton when he was here, I was bummed out when we had to part with Santiago in that 3 way deal with LA and Arizona, always liked him and seeing him have success in ,15 and making the All-Star team was bittersweet ,but even though he’s been down the past couple of seasons, hopefully he can turn it around and become a solid arm either fill in a void or long relief, low risk high reward. Love the move and I’m glad he’s back.


I assume this deal starts immediately, with Spring Training games. I hope so, I want to remove WLS as a memory button on my car radio, today.


First WGN spring game is Feb. 23, according to Robert Feder.


Yay!   I can finally delete that damn station from my car radio presets once and for all.


And to think, my Silvertone was glued to 890 back in the 60s…how things have changed.


At least there won’t be too many conflicts with Black Hawks games this season.


Looks like no more than a week’s worth of possible conflicts.


I would normally not mind that choice, except this year.


Sounds like a cool deal


WLS should go back to Top 40 radio. Not today’s Top 40 but literally the 70’s Top 40 when they were in their heyday.   Maybe just replay all the tapes from those years.  Re-issue the WLS Top 40 lists that we’d pick up at Rose Records.  And let’s get those sweet WLS T-shirts printed again.  

Awww yeah, looking forward to hearing “Beach Baby” while hanging out at the civic pool this summer.