CSN Chicago promotes Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager

CSN Chicago promotes Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager

COMCAST SPORTSNET CHICAGO PROMOTES PHIL BEDELLA TO VICE PRESIDENTGENERAL MANAGER

Veteran Chicago Sports Media executive to continue to report to Comcast SportsNet Chicago President JIM CORNO

Chicago, IL (September 26, 2011) Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, has announced the promotion of 23-year Chicago sports media executive Phil Bedella to Vice PresidentGeneral Manager, effective October 1, 2011. The announcement was made by James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Holding the previous title of Asst. GMVP of Advertising at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Bedella will continue to report to network President Jim Corno and continue to assist Corno on major network initiatives, but he will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the network, which includes overseeing all departments with the exception of finance and human resources.

As our assistant general manager, Phil has demonstrated expert leadership in numerous facets of our business over the years, so it is without question in my mind that we elevate Phil to the next level, said Corno. His vast management experience in the regional sports business, constant creative-thinking and contagious energy will not only continue to benefit me, but will also benefit our network for many years to come.

Bedella was one of Cornos first hires at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, as he joined the regional sports network several months prior to its debut in October 2004 as Vice PresidentGeneral Sales Manager. At that time, Bedella helped launch the networks sales department and has lead his sales team to account for consistent, annual revenue growth, placing Comcast SportsNet Chicago as one of the nations best-performing sales departments for a regional sports television network. In addition, Bedella also oversaw the development and launch of Comcast SportsNet Chicagos digital operation and its flagship website, CSNChicago.com, which has delivered consistent website traffic growth and significant ad sales success.

In 2008, Bedella was promoted to Assistant General Manager at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, as he worked closely with Corno to assist with the overall management of the station and the continued goal of seeking out new business opportunities and revenue streams.

Prior to joining Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Bedella was hired as the Local Sales Manager at Fox Sports Net Chicago in 1999. Three years later in 2002, he was named Vice PresidentGeneral Sales Manager of the station.

Bedella began his career in the local sports business in 1989 as a sales associate for the Chicago Cubs. Under the tutelage of current Chicago Blackhawks President & CEO John McDonough, Bedella spent seven years with the Cubs, holding a variety of key positions including Manager of Broadcasting & Special Events and Manager of Luxury Suites. He also played a major role in managing the annually-sold out Cubs Convention from 1994-96 and oversaw the development and launch of the Wrigley Field Tours.

Following his tenure with the Cubs, Bedella was hired as Senior Account Executive at CBS Sports Marketing in 1996, which was part of a sales group that launched Chicago Bears radio sales for CBS Sports Radio. He was promoted to Manager of Sports Sales of that division in 1997.

A native of Chicago, IL, Bedella graduated from Illinois State University in 1988 with a degree in mass communications. He is an active member of the Illinois State University Alumni Advisory Board, the Media Advertising Club and the Chicago Latino Network. Bedella and his wife Arti, along with their two children Zara and Braden, reside in Wilmette, IL.

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Zack Burdi headed for the minors, the White Sox 12-man pitching staff is all but set.

The Opening Day roster won't be finalized until Sunday and the White Sox hypothetically could find an attractive candidate to claim off the waiver wire over the weekend. But barring that, it looks as if veteran Anthony Swarzak and second-year reliever Michael Ynoa have made the team after Burdi said Wednesday morning that he'd start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. 

The No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com, Burdi finished the spring with a 6.75 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burdi finished his Cactus League on a high note with three strikeouts over an inning on Tuesday, including one of Kansas City four-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. 

"Man, it's been crazy," Burdi said. "Coming in and being the young guy in the locker room and then just progressing and showing a little bit more (comfort) around the guys and the veterans and then just being able to pick their brains and go out every day and try to progress. You get to the innings and you are facing guys you've watched your last 10 years of your life. It has been crazy and definitely something I won't forget."

Burdi lasted the longest this spring out of the cache of highly-touted prospects the White Sox brought to big league camp. Prior to escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam Tuesday, Burdi looked like he would allow a run in a third straight game after a hot start to camp (he only allowed a run in one of his first 10 appearances). But Burdi battled back and struck out Perez on three pitches, one of two straight strikeouts to strand both runners.

Pitching coach Don Cooper has been impressed by Burdi throughout the spring. But he also wants to see the Louisville product continue to work on command in the minors.

"You can't not see his stuff," Cooper said. "Everybody gets excited when you see 99, 100, 101. But whether you throw it 101 or 83 like [Mark] Buehrle you have to throw it to the glove with command, change speeds and all that stuff. But he's a big part of our future going forward. He's one of the names."

Burdi said he plans to operate like he has already spring and not pay attention to any of the hype. Though he'd like to play in the majors, Burdi is excited to play alongside the likes of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte.

"Once you get a feel for all this stuff and you feel how cool it is to be in the locker room with all these guys and play with them, of course you want to get back up here," Burdi said. "But at the same time, a lot of my really good friends are on Charlotte and I couldn't be more excited to go down there and play with them and make the most of the season down there."

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."