WSCR (670 kHz, 670 The Score) is a commercial sports talk radio station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, and owned by Entercom. Its transmitter is located just off Army Trail Road in the suburb of Bloomingdale, and its studios are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop. It is known as The Score and has been on the air since January 2, 1992. WSCR is currently the flagship station for the Chicago Cubs Radio Network and the Chicago Bulls, and is also the Chicago home for Illinois Fighting Illini football and men's basketball. WSCR also carries other live sports programming from CBS Sports Radio and Westwood One, including Monday Night Football.
|Broadcast area||Chicago market|
|Branding||670 The Score|
|Slogan||Chicago Sports Radio|
|Frequency||670 kHz (AM)|
(also on HD Radio)
|Repeater(s)||104.3 MHz WBMX-HD2|
|First air date||January 2, 1992|
|Format||Sports talk radio|
|Transmitter coordinates||Coordinates: (NAD27) (main tower)|
(NAD27) (auxiliary tower)
|Former frequencies||820 kHz (1992-1997)|
1160 kHz (1997-2000)
|Affiliations||CBS Sports Radio|
Chicago Bulls (NBA)
Chicago Cubs Radio Network
(Entercom License, LLC)
|Sister stations||WBBM, WBBM-FM, WBMX, WCFS-FM, WUSN, WXRT|
WSCR uses HD Radio on its AM signal 24 hours a day.[note 1] The station's programming is also available to listeners with an HD Radio receiver via a simulcast on the HD2 subchannel of sister station WBMX.
The station initially signed on at 820 kHz on January 2, 1992 as a 5,000-watt regional "daytime" station. This meant that after sundown the station had to sign off to avoid interfering with the nighttime signal of WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas, the clear-channel station on 820AM. WSCR moved to 1160 on April 7, 1997.
In 2000, it moved to its current frequency of 670AM, a 50,000-watt clear-channel signal that had long been the home of WMAQ, Chicago's oldest radio station. Viacom had bought CBS a year earlier, and the purchase put the merged company over FCC limits on ownership in Chicago. WMAQ had more than held its own with longtime rival WBBM in the mid-1990s, and it was initially thought that Viacom would break up the WSCR intellectual unit, with WMAQ inheriting WSCR's play-by-play rights. However, Viacom decided to operate only one all-news station in Chicago, opting to end WMAQ's format and concentrate on WBBM, while moving the entire WSCR to 670AM and selling the 1160 frequency to Salem Communications (that station is now WYLL).
WSCR's studios were then located at 4949 W. Belmont Ave. on the northwest side of Chicago, in the building where sister station WXRT had long been located. (WSCR ceased broadcasting from that location in 2001.)
From 2001 to 2008, the station was the flagship for Chicago Blackhawks hockey, until their move to WGN. WSCR was also the radio home for the Chicago White Sox baseball team from 2006 to 2015, until their departure to WLS at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
The Chicago Cubs made WSCR the flagship of their radio network following the White Sox' departure to WLS. When the Cubs left WGN for CBS Radio following the 2014 season, the Cubs were heard on WBBM (780AM). A clause in the Cubs' deal with CBS allowed a one-time move to WSCR in the event that the White Sox left the station. The move was officially announced on November 11, 2015. The Cubs' first year on WSCR paid immediate dividends, as the team won the 2016 World Series, its first world championship in 108 years, and the first since the birth of radio and modern communications.
Before 1992, the WSCR call letters were used for a station in Hamden, Connecticut, where it was an acronym for ""Suburban Country Radio". Prior to that, they were the longtime radio call letters for a now-defunct station in Scranton, Pennsylvania at 1320AM, standing for "SCRanton".
On January 31, 2018, Entercom announced that WSCR would become the new flagship station for the Chicago Bulls on February 3, 2018 after Cumulus Media nullified their contract with the team to carry games on WLS after they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Score is known for various concepts, such as:
- The station's relationship with long-time listeners, callers, and contributors. Many supply regular contributions in the form of faxes and e-mails. Some callers and e-mailers, known as "Score Heads," use colorful monikers, such as "Formula One Boy", "Schmutzie," "9-Iron", "Stan from Bellwood," "The Texter from the 512", "Whitley from Ravenswood," The Gridiron Assassin," "Rusty from Stickney," "Bichiro," "LeBron James's Hummer," "Canuck Boy" (A college buddy of Laurence Holmes), "Alex from Rogers Park," "GatorBill from Champaign," "Denver Dave," "Stonecutter from the Northwest Side," "Wild Bill" RIP (known for his hoarse, out of breath voice), "Rex Kwon Do," "Mr. Mouth", "Quad Cities Pat", "Quit Playin'", "Dusty's Toothpick", "Bittersweet Jeff" from the South Side, "Dark Twain," "Agent Orange", "Mike in Milwaukee,""Tom from 'Hangover Park,'" "Northside Fro Dog" "Mike from East Chicago (RIP), "Bob in Niles" (The Movie Man), "Cicero Bob" and an impersonator of The Simpsons villain "Mr. Burns."
- The station's relationship with Chicago celebrities, sports or otherwise. They include former pitcher and current Chicago White Sox announcer Steve Stone, and former Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén. Former Pro Football Weekly and current Chicago Football publisher Hub Arkush is a paid analyst.
- The station's various "radio remotes." Shows are done from various locations ranging from restaurants and bars to sports teams' training camps, mainly the Chicago Bears. At one point, former morning radio personality Mike North even did a series of remote shows from the backyards of various SCORE listeners. On every Friday, the Boers and Bernstein show and its replacement, the erstwhile Bernstein and Goff Show, used to host the Bud Light "Who Needs Two" tavern tour.
- Various "signature segments." These range from "Who Ya' Crappin'," based on Mike Ditka's response to a question posed by Terry Boers in a recorded interview, to Mully and Hanley's "Reporters' Notebook," "Bum Of The Week" and "And For That You Suck!" with Les Grobstein. Another segment is Laurence Holmes' "Hater Wednesday." The signature and other segments are now available via the "Pod Spot" menu of The Score's website.
Starting in 2005, WSCR started airing Sporting News Radio overnights (now CBS Sports Radio and limited to Saturday and Sunday a.m. and other fill-in time slots). It also began airing the Dan Patrick show on a delayed basis in 2007. Now overnights are covered by Les Grobstein. WSCR also airs CBS Sports Radio on its website whenever it airs the NFL on Westwood One or the Cubs, which do not allow live streaming.
The station is the exclusive Chicago radio outlet for Illinois Fighting Illini men's basketball and football along with Chicago Cubs baseball, Westwood One's coverage of NFL football, and pre/postgame shows.
Twice an hour, there are minute-long "Score Board Updates" by reporters with game results and highlighted stories of the day. The Chicago Wolves sponsor the studio the updates are done in. Many producers are on-air contributors and fill in when other hosts have days off. Other reporters include Julie DiCaro, Zach Zaidman, David Schuster, Nick Shepkowski, and Jay Zawaski.
Weekends outside of play-by-play constitute of local shows by Mike Esposito, Steve Rosenbloom and Mark Grote (Rosenbloom and Grote host a show known as the Wake & Bake show), as well as syndicated shows from CBS Sports Radio.
The Score has had three primary broadcast facilities in its years on the air. The first was at 4949 West Belmont Avenue on the Northwest Side of Chicago. The second, with them moving to the 670 frequency after the merger of Westinghouse and CBS Radio, was at the NBC Tower. Currently the station is located in Two Prudential Plaza, along with several other Entercom stations.
Due to the station's transmitter power and the surrounding area's flat land (with near-perfect soil conductivity), WSCR provides at least secondary coverage to most of Illinois, including Peoria and Springfield. It also provides a strong signal to much of southern Wisconsin (with Milwaukee getting a city-grade signal) and almost half of Indiana. At night, it can be heard across much of the eastern three-fourths of North America with a good radio.
| Occupant of the AM 670 kHz frequency in Chicago, Illinois (Facility ID 25445)
- Some AM stations use HD Radio only during daytime hours, per Barry McLarnon's AM IBOC page (see references below).
- McLarnon, Barry (2016-04-18). "AM IBOC Stations on the Air". Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- "Street Talk", Radio & Records, January 3, 1992. p. 20. Accessed February 4, 2016.
- Feder, Robert (June 23, 2015). "WLS wins White Sox radio rights". robertfeder.com. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- Neil (November 11, 2015). "Cubs Officially Move Radio Broadcasts to 670 The Score". chicagocubsonline.com. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 17, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- CBS Radio to Merge with Entercom
- Entercom Receives FCC Approval for Merger with CBS Radio
- Entercom Completes CBS Radio Merger
- "670 The Score Named The Bulls' New Flagship Station". 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
- Feder, Robert (31 January 2018). "Done deal: Bulls pivot to The Score". Robert Feder. Retrieved 1 February 2018.