The Cubs are hiring a third announcer to join Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer on WBBM-780 (it's going to be a while before I get used to that; I started typing "WGN-720") radio broadcasts.
According to Ed Sherman in the Tribune, the team has had hundreds of applicants, both from radio veterans and just plain ol' Cubs fans:
That's pretty cool, actually, that there are that many qualified broadcast/baseball people out there who want to work on Cubs radio. If you're one of the 400 who applied, let us know in the comments. Two more things reported by Sherman will likely please you. One is that Judd Sirott won't be the guy. He's remaining with WGN and continuing to work on Blackhawks broadcasts there. We've been pretty merciless on Sirott here, and I found him totally unqualified to do baseball, but I will say he does a decent job on the hockey broadcasts. The second thing is the list of likely finalists:Ron Gleason, WBBM's director of news and programming, wasn't surprised to receive more than 400 resumes for the position, which Judd Sirott filled last year at WGN-AM 720. More than a few, he said, were from people who had only one qualification: Cubs fan. "I got a number of resumes from people who had absolutely no broadcast experience," Gleason said. "They basically said they were lifetime Cubs fans who got an autograph from their favorite player when they were 7. Because of that, they are perfect for the job. I don't want to demean or make fun of them. These are wonderful people. But there is a skill and craft that goes into working in broadcasting." Then there was the other side of the spectrum. Gleason said he typically receives 80 to 100 resumes when he has an opening at the station. Of that group, perhaps he would consider four to be qualified to work at a station of WBBM's caliber. However, Gleason said he had at least 200 applicants who had the necessary broadcasting and baseball experience for the Cubs job. Of those, there were "40 good enough to be WBBM and Cubs quality," Gleason said.
Gleason wouldn't get into specifics, but it's believed the final candidates include Andy Masur, Wayne Randazzo, Connor McKnight, Mark Grote and Jordan Bernfield.
I know many, many people here have been clamoring for Masur to return to Cubs radio, where he worked behind Hughes and Ron Santo from 1999 through 2006, hosting pre- and post-game shows and doing some play-by-play. Recently, he's called San Diego Padres games, but I know Masur, a Chicago-area native, would love to return to the Cubs. He'd be a great choice.
Randazzo is already employed by CBS as he works for the Score, and he's also likely familiar to many of you as the voice of the Kane County Cougars. Grote is also on the Score. Bernfield works for WGN, where you've likely heard him, as does McKnight.
Personally? I'd love to see Masur get the job. He's 47 years old and could stick on the Cubs radio team for a long time, and it would be a great homecoming for him.