2/6/2019 UPDATE – Robert Feder’s reports that Barry Rozner has officially cut ties with The Score.
Barry Rozner has been one of my favorite voices on 670 The Score, probably for the better part of the last 5 plus years. That is saying something because Rozner has never been a full-time host at the station.
Rozner, a long-time sports columnist at the Daily Herald, has been a prominent weekend and fill in host for The Score over the last decade. For much of the time, he’s co-hosted “Hit & Run,” The Score’s long-time Sunday morning baseball show. And when regular full-time hosts were either on vacation or off sick, Rozner had been the most called upon personality to fill in.
Rozner’s status as a lead fill in, however, had changed in 2018, following Entercom’s takeover of the station, and the hiring of Jimmy de Castro as head of the station (along with the rest of the Chicago cluster of now Entercom owned stations). Throughout 2018, Rozner’s presence as a regular fill in host thinned out, leaving Sunday mornings the only time you’d hear him.
So when Robert Feder broke in his Jan. 21 column that Rozner is likely leaving The Score, I was shocked. It wasn’t news I was necessarily expecting to come across. As I thought about, while also considering what Rozner had said to Feder, his deciding to leave became less surprising. It seems Rozner either was either no longer content at the lack of fill in opportunities or the fact that there is likely no room for a full-time role for him there anytime soon.
I had often wondered why Rozner never became a full-time host at The Score. I figured it was one of these three reasons below:
- Rozner simply had no interest and was happy with his semi-regular appearances
- Station management, while thrilled with his work as a weekend and fill in host, didn’t think his act would resonate long-term as a full-time act
- Rozner was asking too high of a salary and station management was unwilling to go that high
Whatever the case, Rozner leaving the Score is a huge loss for me. His lack of filling in over the last year had already been noticed by me. I had wondered why that was the case. Was it a case of Rozner wanting to scale things back on his own (which now obviously seems like that was not the case), Entercom wanting to pay less for fill in talent or de Castro simply not being a Rozner fan and instead opting for other voices?
Rozner caught my attention during the spring and summer of 2013 as the Hawks were skating towards another Stanley Cup championship. His enthusiasm and knowledge for the game of hockey was so different from any other host in town. As I heard more of him, it became apparent that his insight into baseball was also phenomenal.
I learned a lot when listening to Rozner. And his personality was such that he was simply fun to listen to. He was always great to listen to regardless of who he co-hosted with. It seemed to be that he would be a natural as a full-time host, and I was hoping that he would have received the opportunity after long-time afternoon host Terry Boers announced he was retiring at the end of 2017.
I thought an afternoon show with him and Dan Bernstein would be can’t miss radio.
When that didn’t happen, it marked the beginning of what now appears to be the end for Rozner’s run at The Score.
And now, we’re left to wonder why his role had dramatically diminished over the last year and why he had never become a full-time host there. Perhaps someday, Rozner will open up on all of this.
While I am holding out hope that he may still change his mind and decide to stay on board, I’m also hoping that if he does indeed depart from the Score, that another door might open for him up the dial at either WGN Radio (a natural fit, perhaps, since they are the home of the Blackhawks and the White Sox, with plenty of room in their evening or weekend lineup for additional sports talk programming) or ESPN 1000.