O'Donnell: Jimmy de Castro will carry his oversight of The Score into OT
JIMMY DE CASTRO isn't talking.
But Jimmy de Castro also isn't walking ... for now.
The facile media top gunner will not be departing as chief of Entercom's Chicago cluster -- a seven-station unit that includes WSCR-AM (670) -- when his two-year contract expires in a few weeks.
Credible sources have confirmed de Castro will remain in place on an "open-ended basis" while an internal matter at Entercom settles.
That means de Castro will quite possibly still be around when the first wave of attack on The Score's sonic citadel begins in January as Craig Karmazin's Good Karma Brands takes over dormant AM 1000 via a "local marketing agreement" with ESPN.
De Castro -- who has been building his own legacy in Chicago since meticulously developing Jonathon Brandmeier for WLUP-FM beginning back in 1983 as an alternative to ruling comets Steve Dahl and Garry Meier -- came aboard Entercom when the broadcast giant completed a $1.7 billion purchase of CBS Radio in late 2017.
While he has overseen an external veneer of stability at Entercom/Chicago, backstage, there have been significant cuts in staff and costs as the corporation's stock has tumbled.
With AM-1000 apparently preset to "endless flail" as an ESPN operation under the departing Jim Pastor, de Castro, for the most part, has hand-ridden WSCR into retaining an organic hold as the market's sports talk leader.
How serious a challenge to that restrained reign Karmazin and incoming programming chief Mike Thomas will craft remains to be heard.
But, into contractual OT, de Castro will remain as senior sentinel.
IAN EAGLE OF CBS instantaneously qualified for two Ohio-based Halls of Fame -- Pro Football in Canton, Rock and Roll in Cleveland -- during the Bears-Lions telecast when he casually dropped that Detroit WR Kenny Golladay (Northern Illinois, Class of '17) had attended Chicago's St. Rita, "the same high school as Ray Manzarek of The Doors."
Eagle's observation was a staggering insert into a supremely boring NFL game, as inspired as Manzarek's iconic keyboard wizardry, which informed from Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht to Chuck Berry's Johnnie Johnson with many, many reptilian Farfisa stops in between.
The adroit Eagle has the business of show deep in his veins to summon such reverent recall: His father was a musician, actor and Borscht Belt comic; his mother was a professional singer.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that DePaul men's basketball would be the Chicago sportscape's most promising power point this month?
The Blue Demons (4-0) shocked and awed on FS1 Monday night at Iowa, dashing out to a 13-0 lead and coasting to a 93-78 win as 9-point underdogs.
Touted transfer Charlie Moore -- a one-time "Mr. Basketball" in Illinois -- was an afterthought as rangy Paul Reed (25 points, 12 rebounds) and Jalen Coleman-Lands (17 points) overwhelmed the cornstalks.
Said radio analyst Dave Corzine: "If Iowa is supposed to be in the middle of the Big Ten this year and we're supposed to be toward the lower end of the Big East, this should be quite a season for the Big East."
Only deepest Demon dawgs can think it but visions of a 13-0 preconference start are suddenly in play.
DePaul will move to 5-0 Saturday when it hosts the Ivy boys in short pants from Cornell and star forward Jimmy Boeheim, son of the Syracuse coach (FSN, Jeff Levering, Stephen Bardo; AM-670, noon).
STREET-BEATIN': Joe Novak isn't the only ex-mentor off the P.J. Fleck Express. Of his last conversation with Fleck, Jerry Kill told SiriusXM, "It will be the last." Still, Fleck, dazzling Tanner Morgan and quixotic Minnesota (9-0) try to avoid a tough trap at Iowa Saturday (Fox, Joe Davis, Brock Huard, 3 p.m.). ... The Golden Gophers, incidentally, are down to 80-1 at most Vegas shops to win the CFP. Current party of four is: Ohio State (2-1), LSU (2-1), Clemson (7-2) and Alabama (6-1). ... San Francisco's bump-plagued loss to Seattle Monday night has done little to diminish the star power of Jimmy Garoppolo: The NFL is moving the Nov. 24 Packers-49ers game from Fox to NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and the Rams-Niners match Dec. 21 into prime-time on The NFL Network. ... Amid the Bears mirage win Sunday, insightfully objective Boomer Esiason told all Fisheyers who were still listening: "They lost Jordan Howard. They let him go. I think that was the big loss to this organization because he gave 'em an attitude. And they don't have that attitude anymore." ... If George McCaskey and Ted Phillips have not quietly enlisted an outside consultant to assess what's salvageable in the Pace-Nagy-Trubisky vertical at Halas Hall, their positions should be reevaluated. (Begging the question: How's this season playing with driven Bears minority partner Pat Ryan?). ... Some very sharp fantasy football types are insisting that the value of David Montgomery should be reassessed as The Munchkins hit a meaningless stretch run and many FFL trade deadlines loom. Deepest fantasians note the Bears offense has five of the poorest teams vs. RBs in fantasy points allowed still to play, including: the NYG (No. 22), DET (29), DAL (20), GB (27) and KC (32). ... All that money spent branding as "Chicago's Big Ten Team" and Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern get a slink shot to go 2-8 when hopeless Massachusetts (1-9) visits Saturday. (BTN, 11 a.m., Lisa Byington, J Leman). The Minutemen (+40½) lost by 27 to Rutgers, which puts them one hitch away from the fall flag league at Wellesley. ... Joe Kessenich reports that all 24 home games of Max Strus and the Windy City Bulls will be available on the NBCSCH system this season, 10 of them live. Julio Rausseo is back as play-by-play voice. ... And post-Orwellian broadcast sage Verne Lundquist, to Phil Mushnick of the New York Post: "The most dangerous word in our language has become 'send.' "
• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.