Although I’ll have more on his comments later, specifically as they relate to the ongoing Wrigley Field renovation issues, Crane Kenney just dropped a significant bit of news this morning while speaking with Bruce Levine and Wayne Randazzo on The Score.
Kenney said, when discussing his successes and failures as the Chicago Cubs’ President of Business Operations, that he must have the faith of ownership because he just had his contract extended through 2019. It wasn’t known – to me, at least – when his previous contract was set to expire, but he’s now under control, so to speak, for another five years. Kenney’s been in the news a lot this week, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change this weekend.
The time line is interesting, given that the Cubs’ CSN media rights expire after 2019 (that’ll be a significant business endeavor) and the leveraged partnership requirements with the Tribune Company and the “sale” of the Cubs to the Ricketts Family must last at least until 2019. Perhaps it’s all just a coincidence.
In any case, Kenney says he has had his contract extended through 2019. My opinion on the Cubs’ business president has always probably been a bit softer than many, but I also tend to think that our visibility to what he actually does on a day-to-day basis is pretty limited. I’ll neither approve nor disapprove of the move to retain Kenney long-term – I just don’t think I’ve got enough visibility and/or data to judge – but I do tend to think that chairman Tom Ricketts is a smart guy. There has to be a reason that he’s remained so committed to Kenney.
And if the renovation gets underway, the signs go up, and the media rights deals are inked with huge revenue guarantees within the next year, Kenney will have succeeded (eventually) at the most important items on his plate (after the Spring Training, Dominican Facilities, and new front office facilities all came online over the past couple years). Although the “Kenney Story” doesn’t look great to many of you right now, it could change very quickly. I guess we’ll see.
None of this is a defense of Kenney, mind you – I’m just a fairly neutral dude about this kind of stuff. That said, I do think it’s fair to want to see some positive results on the renovation and the media rights deals soon.