The first year of the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus eras is set to be the grand finale of Bears football on WBBM radio.
Jeff Agrest (Sun-Times) reports the Chicago Bears are moving off WBBM radio, where they have been since 2000. And even though Agrest reports the station (which simulcasts on its AM and FM brands) has been losing money with the Bears (which seems to be why the two are going to Splitsville), there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of stations angling to be the team’s new radio home:
Back in June, ESPN WMVP 1000-AM and iHeartMedia’s rock radio WCHI 95.5-FM were joining WBBM in the fray as possible radio stations to be the future home of the Bears. But with WBBM bowing out, it leaves ESPN and WCHI as the top competitors. ESPN is no stranger to scooping up Chicago sports franchise radio rights since joining Good Karma Brands, becoming the White Sox flagship starting in 2021. Meanwhile, WCHI is a newcomer in the mix. And while that station isn’t necessarily in my wheelhouse in terms of listening choices, I can imagine the profile boost it could get by adding Bears radio rights.
Following what happens here will be interesting. The last time the Bears had radio rights up for grabs, there was a September announcement from WBBM retaining those rights. But with WBBM out of the picture, Chicago football will soon have a new radio home. And when changes go down, I’ll be curious to see what else switches with it.