Bulls hire Chuck Swirsky to handle radio play-by-play duties

Bill Wennington
Johnny 'Red' Kerr
Neil Funk
Chuck Swirsky

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May 6, 2008 – The Chicago Bulls announced today the hiring of Chuck Swirsky to handle the radio play-by-play duties for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on ESPN 1000 (WMVP-AM) beginning with the 2008.09 season.

In this role, Swirsky will be teamed with Bill Wennington who will continue handling the color commentary. Wennington has served as the team’s radio analyst for the past five seasons.

Swirsky joins the Bulls from the Toronto Raptors where he most recently served as the team’s television play-by-play announcer for seven seasons. Prior to that, he called the action for the Raptors radio broadcasts for three seasons.

“I am honored, humbled and appreciative to the Chicago Bulls as I return to a world class city and look forward to being a part of the Bulls organization and the Chicagoland community,” Swirsky said. “I want to thank Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto fans for ten great years of support and encouragement.”

Swirsky brings more than 20 years of broadcasting experience to the airwaves including stints with University of Michigan basketball and DePaul University. He also served as sports director for WJR-AM in Detroit where he anchored the pre-game and post-game shows for the Detroit Red Wings and the University of Michigan football team.

Prior to these accomplishments, Swirsky rose to prominence while serving as the sports director for WGN-AM in Chicago from 1982 to 1994. He was the host of the Chicago Bears Radio Network for 10 years and held similar responsibilities for the Chicago Cubs Radio Network for 12 seasons. He was also the Bulls public address announcer from 1980 to 1983. At WGN, Swirsky called the action for the Chicago Sting of the NASL and extended into television as a play-by-play announcer for Northwestern University football for three seasons.

“We are most excited to announce that we are bringing Chuck Swirsky back to Chicago where his career began,” said Steve Schanwald, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Bulls. “Chuck is one of the most respected play-by-play announcers in the NBA and I know our fans will enjoy his exciting style of calling a game.”

In making this announcement, Schanwald also announced that longtime Chicago Bulls radio play-by-play announcer Neil Funk will now become the voice of the Bulls on its television broadcasts on Comcast SportsNet, WGN-TV and WCIU-TV. Funk has been the voice of Bulls radio since 1991. Funk will be paired with Stacey King on all local telecasts. King has been a color commentator with the team for the past two seasons.

The Bulls also announced that longtime broadcaster Johnny “Red” Kerr will serve as the host of the Bulls local home telecasts and appear during Bulls pre-game and halftime shows to provide commentary and analysis. His role with the organization will also include appearing at various events around the Chicagoland area as a Bulls Goodwill Ambassador.

Additionally, Kerr will be honored during the 2008.09 season on a date to be determined for his 36 years of service to the Bulls. In recognition of his contribution to the organization, a sculpture of Kerr will be commissioned and permanently placed on display in the United Center.