ESPN Chicago announced Tuesday the station's Bears-related programming and talent lineup for the 2023-24 season. The Bears Radio Network will feature pregame, halftime and postgame shows as well as the first-ever licensed daily Bears podcast.
Back in November, the Bears and ESPN Chicago announced ESPN 1000 would be the future radio home of the Bears, beginning with the 2023 season.
"The hometown radio call continues to be an integral part of Bears football," said Scott Hagel, Bears senior vice president of marketing and communications. "It provides the unique soundtrack of each season. Bears fans expect informed commentary and a shared passion for their favorite team as pillars to their experience. Good Karma has assembled a talented cast to deliver on both while providing a fresh take on Bears football not only for ESPN 1000 listeners, but for fans across the entire national Chicago Bears Radio Network."
"I am ecstatic for ESPN Chicago to enter a new era for exclusive Bears content 365 days a year while to bringing together a diverse, energetic, and passionate group of talent with a deep knowledge of Chicago sports," said Danny Zederman, director of content for ESPN 1000. "Our talent has a real understanding of the importance of the Chicago Bears and what the team means to the fans because our team is made up of fans. We are counting down the days until kickoff!"
ESPN 1000 talent Marc (Silvy) Silverman and Dionne Miller will be joined by former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs to host the Network Pre-Game Show; Silvy will also host the Network Halftime Show.
According to a press release from ESPN Chicago, the pregame show will be broadcast two hours before each game and "will breakdown each week's matchup and serve as a pep rally, welcoming fans and increasing excitement leading up to kickoff." The halftime show will "incorporate fan reactions to the first half of each game" and will feature a new segment called "The Celebrity Spotlight," which will include a conversation with a celebrity who has a Chicago connection.
Play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak and analyst Tom Thayer will remain in their in-game roles and will now be joined by former Bears fullback and current Carmel Catholic football coach Jason McKie as the sideline reporter.
The Network Post-Game show, which will run two hours after each game, will be hosted by ESPN 1000 talent John Jurkovic and Peggy Kusinski. The pair will provide "live analysis and passionate reactions to the outcome of each game," while also incorporating fans into the on-air conversation.
The new year-round, daily Bears podcast, "The Chicago Bears Podcast," will be hosted by local talent and YouTube personality, Pat the Designer. Other ESPN 1000 talent – Courtney Cronin, Briggs, McKie and Jurkovic – will each join Pat on different weekdays.
Follow along on ESPN Chicago's social media platforms and tune into ESPN 1000, 100.3 HD2 and the ESPN Chicago App to listen to all ESPN shows for more Bears coverage and broadcast opportunities.