Good Karma Brands To Take Over ESPN 1000 Chicago
Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Brands has announced it has reached a long-term LMA with ESPN Radio to assume operations of Sports “ESPN 1000” WMVP Chicago starting September 29.
Jim Pastor, who managed the station from 2004-2009 and since 2014 will retire at the end of the year. Pastor had been with ESPN parent ABC since 1993 serving as Vice President of sales and marketing for Radio Disney, GM of WMVP/94.7 WZZN, and Senior Vice President of ESPN Radio during his time with the company.
WMVP will join existing ESPN branded stations in Good Karma’s portfolio in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee and West Palm Beach. ESPN will continue to operate 710 KSPN Los Angeles and 1050 WEPN/98.7 WEPN-FM New York, the latter of which it leases from Emmis. Cumulus Media operates ESPN owned 103.3 KESN Allen TX in the Dallas market.
ESPN Radio has reached a long-term Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) and lease with Good Karma Brands, which calls for Good Karma to assume operations and control of ESPN Radio Chicago (WMVP-AM).
Good Karma will expand its affiliate relationship with ESPN Radio and the station will retain the ESPN 1000 name. ESPN Radio Chicago will feature a lineup of local and national sports talk programming and ESPN Radio’s national play-by-play lineup that includes NBA, MLB, NFL and college football, including the College Football Playoff. Good Karma will assume operations and control of ESPN Radio Chicago effective September 29, 2019.
“Good Karma has proven to be an excellent local affiliate that has shown expertise in local media operations and sales while being a strong steward of the ESPN brand,” said Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president, ESPN Audio. “This is a smart business decision that allows us to continue to serve local sports fans with the compelling content they crave. I want to thank Jim Pastor for all of his contributions to the success of ESPN 1000 and his role in getting this deal done. I greatly appreciate that Jim will assist in a smooth transition until his retirement at the end of this year.”
Pastor, vice president and GM of ESPN 1000, added, “Few people will ever match the experience I’ve had over twenty-seven incredible years with Disney, including the last fifteen with ESPN. I could not be more proud of what we’ve accomplished at ESPN 1000 or more supportive of the decision to affiliate with Good Karma. Walking away now becomes infinitely easier knowing Steve Politziner, Craig Karmazin and their team will be running the show. For me, I’m ready to dial it back, spend more time with the family and go back to sitting in the cheap seats.”
Craig Karmazin, founder and chief executive officer at Good Karma Brands said: “Our Midwest roots have afforded us the opportunity to see the passion of Chicago sports fans up close for over two decades. We are so excited to extend our commitment to being ESPN’s best in class local operator into what will now be our largest market.”
ESPN Audio will continue to operate local stations in New York and Los Angeles. Good Karma also owns ESPN Radio affiliates in Cleveland, Madison, Milwaukee and West Palm Beach.