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SBD/February 18, 2013/Media
Cubs Pondering Departure From Longtime TV Partner WGN After '14 Season
Published February 18, 2013
BRENLY'S BIND: Bob Brenly was a Cubs broadcaster from '04-12 before leaving this offseason to join the D'Backs, and the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES' Wittenmyer noted Brenly "never wanted to leave Chicago." In fact, Brenly "came so close to a five-year extension with WGN-TV last fall that he and his family went out to dinner to celebrate the agreement." Brenly said, "Because of the length of the current TV contract, nobody was willing to guarantee the rest of the deal." Since the Cubs are "expected to opt out of their TV deal with WGN after the 2014 season, the network sought protection against getting stuck with guaranteed contracts and no broadcast rights." Brenly probably still would "be in Chicago if not for former Cub Mark Grace’s DUI arrest that eventually cost him his job on the D-backs’ broadcast team." Brenly, who in October signed a five-year contract with the D'Backs, added, "The Diamondbacks were in a situation where they were in dire straits in their broadcast booth. They were willing and able to guarantee into the future a lot further than the Cubs were able to" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/17).
OTHER TEAM ISSUES: Ricketts yesterday said that the Cubs will "not schedule more night games or add signage in 2013." He added that there has "been 'a lot of progress' with the city in negotiations over relaxing city ordinances to provide the added revenue he says will fund" the proposed $300M renovation project. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE's Sullivan reports the Cubs plan on "re-doing the clubhouses next off-season as the first part of a five-year remodeling of Wrigley Field during the off-seasons between 2013-2017" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/18).