Jul 21, 2022 - Sports

Chicago's top sports announcers in radio

Bobblehead announcers
A bobblehead of Blackhawks broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray in 2019. Photo: Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

We wrote about the best TV broadcast booths yesterday for our major sports teams.

  • But many asked why we skipped the great work being done on the radio dial.

Why it matters: Even though radio listening is down, these duos arguably have the harder job of painting pictures with their words.

1. John Wiedeman & Troy Murray

While Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer for the Bears would be at the top of this list had we not featured them yesterday, the Blackhawks radio team is just as good.

  • They have amazing ways to describe what is happening in a hockey game, and Wiedeman's ability to follow the puck is legendary.
  • Murray was a beloved player for the Hawks. It was emotional when he returned to the booth last year after a cancer diagnosis.
2. Pat Hughes & Ron Coomer
Sportscaster
Pat Hughes works a game in 2016. Photo: Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Pat Hughes, the baseball play-by-play version of a '60s crooner, has the best voice of all the radio broadcasters. We've been lucky to have him calling games for 27 years.

  • Hughes' World Series call is the stuff of legend.
  • Coomer is true Chicago and grew up on the Southwest Side.
3. Len Kasper & Darrin Jackson
Guy in white shirt talking
Darrin Jackson before a game in 2016. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

It's hard to replace Ed Farmer, but Len Kasper is a true Chicago sports broadcaster. He came over from the Cubs TV booth to take the gig.

  • Kasper has proven that he is more than capable of handling both a TV and a radio broadcast.
  • D.J. has been in the booth for 22 years and frequently leans on his experience playing for the South Siders.
4. Chuck Swirsky & Bill Wennington
Two sportscasters in suits
Chuck Swirsky and Bill Wennington in 2022. Photo: Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Chuck Swirsky has been a sports radio mainstay here since his time at WCFL in 1979. He's done everything from play-by-play to hosting talk shows to reporting courtside, but he found his home in calling Bulls games.

  • Wennington, of course, brings the knowledge of a three-time NBA champ.
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