In Chicago, Mark Gonzales notes Cubs TV announcers Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies received three-year contract extensions after ratings for the team on WGN and CSN Chicago have "more than doubled in the last two seasons." WLS-ABC also averaged nearly a 5.0 local rating in its "second season of broadcasting games" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/11). Also in Chicago, Bruce Miles notes Kasper and Deshaies "found almost instant chemistry" when they teamed up in '13. Deshaies brings a "dry, understated wit that provides a nice payoff." Kasper this year will "enter his 13th season as the Cubs' TV voice" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 1/11).
BACK IN THE SADDLE: In San Antonio, Jeff McDonald notes former NBAer Matt Bonner last Thursday made his "debut as a member of the Spurs television broadcast team." Bonner said that he was "grateful his first post-retirement gig brought him back to San Antonio," where he played from '06-16. To prepare for his new job, Bonner "took broadcasting classes" through the NBPA. At various points during his Spurs career, Bonner also "volunteered as color analyst for a handful" of D-League games. As he "wades deeper into his TV career, Bonner hopes his quirky personality continues to shine through" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/11).
MONTH-TO-MONTH: Writer Geoff Shackelford reported Golfweek will "now be published 12 times a year." The publication's new monthly issue is "available as a print and/or digital edition." Plus, they will "continue with a weekly digital issue that keeps the 'week' in Golfweek as relevant as ever" (GEOFFSHACKELFORD.com, 1/10). Golfweek Editor-in-Chief Gerry Ahern wrote the new monthly magazine will be "bigger, bolder, slicker" and "contains all the elements that have made Golfweek a must read for those who follow and appreciate golf at all levels." Ahern: "We aim to be bigger, better and more compelling than ever" (GOLFWEEK.com, 1/10).
SHOW ME THE MONEY: Venture capital fund Courtside Ventures announced its portfolio of inaugural investments, which include $2.3M in seed financing for sports media company The Athletic. The $35M fund was formed as a strategic partnership between Bruin Sports Capital, Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert and WPP, among others (Courtside). SportsBusiness Journal's Michael Smith this week profiles Courtside.