McCarthy Tapped to Run Sinclair’s Cubs Network

Michael McCarthy was named general manager of the new network formed by Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Chicago Cubs, called the Marquee Sports Network.

McCarthy, the former president of MSG Network, has been consulting with the Cubs since last year helping the team evaluate starting a network and formulating a launch strategy.

“We’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Mike and his proven ability to drive results over the past several months at Marquee,” said Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Chicago Cubs. “With his combined sports and media background, Mike is the right person to bring our network online and deliver unprecedented Cubs coverage for our fans.”

Related: Sinclair Buying 21 Regional Sports Networks From Disney

The new network is expected to be the exclusive television home of all local Cubs games, displacing current outlets including NBC SportsNet and WGN-TV, which has aired the team's games for 71 years.

Cable and satellite companies have been balking at paying high prices for regional sports networks and passing the cost along to subscribers who are increasingly cutting the cord.

The new Cubs network will have to reach a carriage deal with Comcast, which was a partner with the Cubs in NBC Sports Chicago, which will continue to carry games of the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the launch of the first independent regional sports network for the Chicago Cubs,” said McCarthy. “The recent transformation of this iconic brand is incredibly impressive and the next big effort to better serve Cubs fans is the launch of Marquee. For years, I watched the Cubs become a nationally recognized brand. For that reason, I’m honored and intensely motivated by the confidence the Ricketts family, Sinclair and the Cubs have placed in me to add to the incredible broadcasting experience enjoyed by fans for the past 70 years.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.