In a sad turn of events, the White Sox and John Rooney decided to part ways on Friday. Rooney had been with the White Sox for the last 18 years, and is easily my favorite broadcaster behind Vin Scully. USA Today even rated the team of Rooney and Ed Farmer tops in the AL.
The reason for the split seems fairly obvious to me. The White Sox got their current deal with ESPN 1000 when the Bulls were pulling down huge ratings winning 6 titles in 8 years. Reinsdorf and company forced ESPN's hand by making the Bulls and Sox a package deal. The result was ESPN ended up with an albatross of a contract after 1998, when both teams sucked. The current deal with WSCR just can't match the dollars that they were used to pulling in. Something had to give, and unfortunately it looks to be Rooney.
Be sure to tune in early to tomorrow's broadcast. WGN will be debuting a pre-game show called 'Push for the Playoffs.' I doubt this is going to be a permanent thing, but it will be interesting to see what the Tribune company has to say about the White Sox.