Folks, they are starting to bail from this sinking Tribune ship. McDonough did a great job building the brand that is the Chicago Cubs. His one season as President was a success. I'd chalk this up as a good move for Rocky Wirtz and company.
Now we wait and see what the next move is at Clark and Addison.
UPDATE 9:27--Here's a link to the Tribune story. This is a fun part of the story:
With an uncertain future of new Cubs ownership and the marketing challenge of a lifetime to restore the Hawks to their former place in Chicago sports, the move could be attractive to McDonough. He was in charge of marketing the Cubs before taking over as president, helping the team regularly fill Wrigley Field despite subpar performances on the field.
UPDATE 9:57--Who would have thunk it? There are Hawks message boards! Take a look here at the excitement surrounding this move by Rocky Wirtz. Honestly I stopped following the Hawks and the NHL in the mid-90's so all of this interweb stuff is new to me, there might even be a Hawks blog or two out there. I can't be bothered to look that deep. I am interested to hear what our Hawk fans John Dooley and Newman have to say about this move from the westside perspectice. Think McDonough's gonna revive the life of that little jingle: "Here come the Hawks!"
UPDATE 10:13--Over at ACB, Maddog has the Crane Kenney (above) taking over the Club President role. So the man behind the curtain, is now front and center for a little while anyways.
OFFICIAL RELEASE: Below is the official release from the Cubs regarding the departure of John McDonough.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs today announced John McDonough resigned as president of the Chicago Cubs to accept a position as president of the Chicago Blackhawks. Crane Kenney, to whom McDonough reported, will continue overseeing Cubs operations until the sale of the team is completed. General Manager Jim Hendry will continue to lead baseball operations.
"The Cubs congratulate John McDonough on his new position," Kenney said. "In his time as team president, John helped the club take an important step toward our ultimate goal - bringing a championship to the greatest fans in baseball."
"John's contributions to the Cubs for the past 24 years have been tremendous," said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune Company chairman and chief executive officer. "His marketing innovations will be an enduring legacy for Cubs fans. We wish him well in his new role with the Blackhawks."
McDonough received a multi-year contract to head the Blackhawks.
"It has been a privilege to be associated with the Chicago Cubs and to be identified with one of the greatest franchises in all of sports," McDonough said. "Cubs fans truly deserve a World Series Championship and I hope they realize it in 2008."
Kenney has been associated with the Cubs for 14 years, first as legal counsel and for the past five years as the Tribune executive responsible for Cubs operations. "We will not let the ownership transition distract us from our primary goal: to see a championship come to the Chicago Cubs in 2008," Kenney said. "Tribune's commitment through an expanded payroll and additional capital for Wrigley Field evidences the continued focus on taking the next step for Cubs fans.
"Jim Hendry has a well-constructed plan in place and is already working to strengthen our roster for 2008. We also have a new, multi-million dollar playing surface ready to welcome our team on Opening Day."
McDonough joined the Cubs from the Chicago Sting in 1983. He was promoted to vice president of marketing and broadcasting in 1991 and was named a senior vice president in 2004 before assuming the role of club president on October 1, 2006.