NFL

Chicago as NFL Draft site means big things for ESPN 1000 & ESPNChicago.com

ESPN 1000’s Tom Waddle (l) and Marc Silverman (r) host a NFL Draft Roundtable on Monday in Chicago with ESPN’s Adam Schefter and John Clayton. (Adam Delevitt/ESPN)
ESPN 1000’s Tom Waddle (l) and Marc Silverman (r) hosted a NFL Draft Roundtable on Monday in Chicago with ESPN’s Adam Schefter and John Clayton. (Adam Delevitt/ESPN)

With Chicago hosting the NFL Draft for the first time since 1964, this week presents an enormous opportunity for ESPN Chicago 1000, ESPN’s owned and operated radio affiliate in the Windy City.

No stranger to big-event coverage throughout the year, the station is making the most of Draft Week with a series of special events and broadcasts, all designed to bring Chi-town sports fans closer to the action.

“We’re thrilled the draft is taking place in Chicago this year,” said ESPN 1000 program director Adam Delevitt. “Being the host city and an owned and operated station adds many levels of synergy and assets that only ESPN can provide.”

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Delevitt added: “Our Chicago team has been planning for this since it was announced and having events every night on-air, online and on-site with local and national commentators is something we are excited to deliver to sports fans in Chicago.”

ESPN 1000’s popular afternoon drive show, Waddle & Silvy, hosted by ESPN analyst and former Bears receiver Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman, kicked off the week with an NFL Draft Roundtable on Monday. The downtown event included ESPN Insider Adam Schefter and senior writer John Clayton. Tuesday night, Carmen DeFalco, co-host of Carmen & Jurko, hosted a “Draft Chat” with Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, and tonight the station hosts a private show for ESPN Radio listeners starring comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo, a regular contributor to ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.

Before the draft gets underway tomorrow and Friday, ESPN 1000 welcomes ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic for two days of live Mike & Mike broadcasts from Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch and the Chicago Sports Museum at Water Tower Place. Those same days, Carmen & Jurko (10 a.m.-2 p.m. CT) and Waddle & Silvy (2-6 p.m.) will broadcast live from the Auditorium Theatre, site of the NFL Draft, providing in-depth analysis and live interviews.

Jeff Dickerson
Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson participates in ESPN.com NFL Nation’s Mock Draft on Monday in Bristol.
Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson participates in ESPN.com NFL Nation’s Mock Draft on Monday in Bristol.

With the NFL Draft in Chicago this week, there will be even greater local interest in what the hometown Bears do with their picks, especially coming off a disappointing 5-11 season in 2014 and an offseason coaching change.

The person who will be at the forefront of ESPN’s Bears coverage – nationally, as well as locally on ESPN 1000 and ESPN Chicago – is Jeff Dickerson, the new Bears team reporter for ESPN.com’s NFL Nation. (Note: Former team reporter Michael C. Wright recently switched to the NBA to cover the defending champion San Antonio Spurs.)

The opportunity to cover the Bears is a perfect fit for Dickerson, who has had this assignment since 2004 for ESPN 1000. Best of all, the lifelong Chicagoland resident will continue to co-host Dickerson & Hood (Saturdays, 7-11 p.m. ET), which launched in January as part of ESPN Radio’s revamped weekend lineup.

“I’m thrilled the whole NFL Nation thing came together,” said Dickerson. “By allowing me to keep my network radio Saturday show and fill-in role, it is truly the best of both worlds.”

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