WGN Radio today announced that it’s re-focusing and expanding its sports coverage showcasing long-time sports personality David Kaplan, in addition to adding a new current-events talk show hosted by current weekend host Jim Laski, effective April 12.
Starting this season, the station will air an extended Cubs post-game show titled Cubs 10th Inning which will be hosted by Kaplan for most weekday games. Kaplan’s duties will also expand to include hosting a new weekend show, Cubs Insider, which will feature a week in review, exclusive interviews, and in-depth analysis. Kaplan will also continue to host the recurring program Cubs Confidential with much greater frequency, which features candid one-on-one interviews telling the life stories of current and former Cubs players and key personnel.
“Chicago Cubs play by play broadcasts are beachfront property and a powerful audience magnet. It’s logical to extend Cubs post-game broadcasts and serve more Cubs fans, more often,” said WGN Radio Program Director Kevin Metheny.
There is also a new feature in the pre-game show for all home games called Cubs Underground, where Kaplan will talk to players, coaches, clubhouse workers, scoreboard keepers, etc. about what goes on at Wrigley off the field. And, Kaplan will host a feature called 60 Seconds With… which will air throughout the week where he’ll ask questions of current players and coaches that have less to do with baseball and more to do with life outside baseball.
In addition to the expanded duties mentioned above, Kaplan will also continue to provide afternoon sports reports, as well as contribute live reports on the Cubs to all shows on WGN, including bringing the latest Cubs breaking news to listeners the moment it happens. With Kaplan’s role expanding to other areas at the station, Sports Central will no longer be airing.
“With Cubs baseball, Blackhawks hockey and Northwestern basketball preemptions, Sports Central was preempted or abbreviated more than half of the time during the past year,” said Metheny. “David Kaplan will be WGN’s sports insider, with intense focus on the Cubs beat. Kap is the consummate Cubs fan and I predict only wins for Cubs fans, Kap, and WGN Radio sponsors from his reporting on all things Cubs all year long, with a hefty piece of that job being the rechristened Cubs 10th Inning post-game program.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to talk sports in this town for the past 20 years. I look forward to continuing to talk sports, which is my passion,” said Kaplan.
On the nights when there are no sports happening, Jim Laski will host and give listeners the chance to talk about the big issues of the day.
“In the past few months, Laski has built a strong track record on WGN. He’s a fascinating character who was called to public service and eventually behaved criminally. He paid for his crime, is sincerely contrite and is moving on,” said Metheny. “He has a unique insider’s perspective on life in and around Chicago.”
“I’m excited to expand my presence on WGN Radio’s airwaves. I grew up in Chicago and what I hope to bring to Chicago radio is a no holds barred, tell-it-like-I-see-it show that focuses on controversial subjects and the issues that affect us every day. You might not agree with me, but you’ll definitely know how I feel,” said Laski. “I’m moving on with my life, am excited about this new opportunity and hope that listeners will enjoy the show.”