Tuesday, September 21, 2021

R.I.P.: Gerald Kuc, Longtime Chicago Sports Journalist

Gerald Kuc a longtime Chicago sports journalist who found his greatest success hosting sports talk shows on WMAQ-AM and WLUP-AM, and who also frequently provided sports reports for morning-drive radio shows died of pneumonia on Sept. 10.

Jerry Kuc
He was 82, according to The Chicago Tribune.  

Kuc started out as a copy clerk and also on the overnight global desk at the Chicago Sun Times. By the mid-1960s, he was writing for the Associated Press wire service, which eventually made him its Illinois bureau chief in Springfield.

Kuc segued to TV, working first at WBBM-Ch. 2 and then as a writer and producer for WGN-Ch. 9 and covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, along with Vietnam War protests.

In 1969, Kuc joined WFLD-Ch. 32 as a writer and reporter. Kuc moved to Milwaukee in the early 1970s, where he was an on-air reporter for WISN-TV. He soon returned to the Chicago area, operating his own public relations agency, his son said.

In 1983, Kuc was hired by WMAQ-AM as a morning sportscaster. The following year, he debuted a sports talk show on Sunday evenings. While at WMAQ, Kuc also began anchoring NBC radio’s network sports reports, and he also covered the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul for the network.

Veteran public address announcer and broadcaster Wayne Messmer said Kuc was “kind of like the big brother, the good neighbor guy, who was always saying, ‘You sound good, man. You’re doing a good job.’”

“I was magnetically drawn to the guy not because I knew he was always full of compliments, but because I knew he was so optimistic,” Messmer said. “And if you’d screw up, he’d help you patch the wound.”

Kuc left WMAQ in 1988 after a management change. Late that year, he began hosting a sports talk show, “Sports Digest,” for WSEX-FM, which later became known as WCBR-FM.

In subsequent years, Kuc worked as a Chicago-based correspondent for the now-defunct SportsChannel America cable TV network, and as sports director for the Interstate Radio Network, a national overnight network. He later worked at WLUP-AM, which now is WMVP-AM, as a reporter and part-time sports talk show host. His work included hosting pregame and postgame shows about the Chicago Bulls.

Kuc also was the substitute host for a WLUP-AM show hosted by Chet Coppock. The young executive producer for Coppock’s show was Dan McNeil, who was later chosen as Coppock’s substitute host.

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