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It's The Cubs' Final Weekend On WGN Radio

The end of the 2014 season marks the end of a relationship that goes back 90 years.

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While we still have no idea whether the Cubs will re-up with WGN-TV or take that portion of their TV contract elsewhere, we do know that the three games against the Brewers in Milwaukee this weekend will be the final Cubs games on WGN radio, at least for the next seven years.

The Cubs, as you know, signed a seven-year deal to have their games broadcast on WBBM radio and perhaps have shows and other events on other CBS radio properties in Chicago. Ed Sherman has a summary of the history of WGN and the Cubs in the Tribune, but I wanted to make this a bit more personal.

The Cubs have been on WGN radio off and on since 1925, as pointed out in the article, and have been there continuously since 1958 (Sherman's article says 1959, but other sources I've consulted say 1958). That comprises my entire lifetime as a Cubs fan, and I'd say the lifetime of almost everyone here as well, so none of us has any significant memory of the Cubs being broadcast on any other radio station. As pointed out in Sherman's article, the association goes back so far that many at WGN thought it would be "forever."

Nothing lasts forever, particularly in broadcasting, and functionally, this won't make much difference for the average radio listener. Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer will still call the games (though I know many of us wish Coomer would be replaced, as he hasn't been very good), so the only thing that will change for the local radio listener is to switch its setting from 720 AM to 780 AM. If you're listening on your computer or via the MLB At Bat app, that won't change at all; the only difference you'll hear is WBBM promos and ads instead of WGN promos and ads. It seems likely that Judd Sirott won't be switching; he works for WGN, and also does Blackhawks stuff on the air. So the Cubs will have to find someone else to fill in for Pat when he takes his inning off every day, and occasional days during the season. (Say, Andy Masur is still available, isn't he?)

So, Steve Goodman's "Go Cubs Go" will no longer be correct:

Baseball time is here again
You can catch it all on WGN

Of course, Goodman's song was specifically written to be game intro music for WGN radio. Goodman passed away 30 years ago -- September 20, 1984, just four days before the Cubs broke their 39-year postseason drought -- so these lyrics won't be rewritten and re-recorded. They'll simply stand forever as a reminder of a radio era we all grew up with.

A fond farewell to all the years of listening to Cubs baseball on WGN. May the new radio home carry many postseason and World Series games.