Kevin Cross, a prominent Chicago sports producer and media executive for more than 25 years, has been promoted to senior vice president/general manager of NBC Sports Chicago, the regional sports network announced Thursday.
Cross, who most recently was vice president of content for NBC Sports Chicago, will head day-to-day operations of the network, which includes the Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox as its team partners.
The position of vice president/general manager has been vacant since Phil Bedella was forced out in May 2017. In the interim, the network was overseen by Bill Bridgen, president and group leader, NBC Sports Regional Networks.
“Kevin has demonstrated expert leadership not only in content development and execution, but also in numerous facets of our business,” Bridgen said in a statement. “His many years of management experience in the regional sports business, along with his creative mindset, will benefit both our network and our team partners for years to come.”
The appointment closely follows news of NBC Sports Chicago's multiyear media rights extension with the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks. The Cubs are expected to launch their own channel with Sinclair Broadcast Group when their partnership with NBC Sports Chicago expires in October, according to multiple reports.
Cross, who grew up on Chicago's South Side and graduated from Columbia College, began his career at SportsChannel Chicago as a producer in 1993. During the network’s transition to Fox Sports Chicago in 1998, he was promoted to senior producer. He later served as president/executive producer of Timeline Productions and executive producer of sports for CLTV.
At Comcast SportsNet Chicago — forerunner of NBC Sports Chicago — he rose from assistant news director to senior director of news and original content and later to vice president of content.