Published on Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:06
Former longtime WSCR-AM sports talker Mike Murphy is returning to Chicago radio -- this time to WSCR-AM rival, WMVP-AM. "Murph" will begin hosting a Sunday morning show on ESPN 1000 this weekend.
Joining Mike Murphy on this new show will be his former WSCR-AM on-air sidekick Fred Huebner. The two will talk baseball and more with fans for four hours each weekend. The show is scheduled to run from 9:00am-1:00pm throughout the baseball season (when not preempted by a Bulls playoff game).
Murphy, who turns 60 at the start of next month, has been a Chicago radio personality since the spring of 1990, when he hosted a Sunday night sports talk show on WLS-AM called "Fan Talk." Eighteen months later, the man affectionately called simply "Murph" was a founding member of The Score Sports Radio when it started in the fall of 1991. He was on the air with the station until he was removed in the middle of June, 2009, to make room for Dan McNeil, who was rejoining the station then. The Score management offered Mike Murphy weekend work with the station instead, but turned he it down, upset that he was losing his weekday midday show. Murphy was still under contract and continued to be paid by CBS for over 10 months following his removal, even though off the air. He was never fired -- CBS chose to not renew his contract.
On May 28, 2010, soon after his contract with the station ended, Mike Murphy sued WSCR-AM owner CBS Radio
(officially CBS Radio East Inc. and Infinity Broadcasting Operations Inc.) in a class action lawsuit filed in Cook County, IL. The lawsuit alleges that CBS Radio contracts featured unfair and possibly illegal terms within them. Specifiacally, Murphy and his lawyer are objecting to a clause that allegedly says the employees cannot enter into an agreement to work elsewhere during the period of ninety days before terminating employment and six months following termination, within a 50-mile radius around the radio station, without giving CBS Radio the right of first refusal. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all WSCR-AM and CBS Radio Chicago employees who may have signed similar contracts since January 1st, 2002. The lawsuit has yet to have been settled.
Although not opposed to talking about the Chicago White Sox, "Murph" makes it no secret about his deep, lifelong love for the Chicago Cubs. He was a founding member of the Left Field Bleacher Bums -- a group of insanely dedicated fans in the mid-1960's and through the 1970's, who sat in the left field bench seats, wearing yellow helmets, cheering on their favorite team, and giving a hard time to opponents (and sometimes each other). Back then, he somehow picked up the nickname of "The Mad Bugler," supposedly for blowing a bugle during the game from the left-field wall.
The 1977 comedic play "Bleacher Bums," which starred Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz, was loosely based on this group of crazed fans.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: The paragraph above has been updated. According to those who sat with the Right Field Bleacher Bums, an equally dedicated group of Cubs fans from this same time period, the 1977 play "Beacher Bums" was based on them and their antics, and not based on the Left Field Bleacher Bums. Like a slow-moving batter at the plate, that one line has been "struck out" from this article.
"Murph" was known for his regular radio segments, including "What's Your Beef?", "Tool of the Week" and "Swami Murph." It is not yet known if any of these signature bits will make their return on his ESPN 1000 weekend show.