The Windy CIty ThunderBolts are back on the airwaves after a broadcast deal with WXAV FM.
The Windy City ThunderBolts (independent; Frontier League) announced an agreement with WXAV 88.3 FM to broadcast the team’s games during the 2009 season.
WXAV, which is licensed to Saint Xavier University in Chicago, has committed to air at least 30 games in 2009 with the option to add additional broadcasts as the season progresses. The first broadcast will be on Thursday, May 21, as the ThunderBolts open the 2009 season against the Rockford RiverHawks. Game broadcasts will also be available online at wxav.com, and any game not broadcast by WXAV will be available online through the ThunderBolts webpage, wcthunderbolts.com.
WXAV has won numerous awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association in recent years, including 3rd place for Best Long Radio Program in 2008, 1st place for Best Sports Broadcast in 2007, and 1st place for both Best Radio Spot and Best Newscast in 2006.
As part of the partnership between Saint Xavier University and the Windy City ThunderBolts, Saint Xavier students will have a direct role in the broadcasts. Terry Bonadonna, a junior communications major at SXU and the sports director for WXAV, will serve as the color commentator for the broadcasts, with additional students participating in behind-the-scenes roles relating to the production and airing of the games.
"We are thrilled to partner with Saint Xavier University to broadcast ThunderBolts games while providing a quality experience for the students associated with WXAV,” said ThunderBolts General Manager Steve Tahsler. “The staff at WXAV and administration at Saint Xavier have been tremendous to work with, and their enthusiasm is a major reason why we can return ThunderBolt baseball to the radio. WXAV has many awards for the quality of its programming, and we are proud to associate with such a well-regarded station."
Chad Cooper will serve as the lead broadcaster for the ThunderBolts in 2009, replacing Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, who was hired by the Lansing Lugnuts (Low Class A; Midwest League). Cooper previously broadcast Frontier League games for the Evansville Otters in 2003-2005 and the Traverse City Beach Bums in 2006. He spent 2007 covering the Vero Beach Devil Rays of
the Florida State League and 2008 with the North Adams Steeple Cats of the NECBL.
This upcoming season will mark the first time since 2005 that ThunderBolt games have been broadcast over the air and the first time in team history that games have been carried by an Illinois radio station.