David Kaplan (radio)

David Kaplan is an American columnist, radio and television personality who currently hosts Kap and Co. on ESPN 1000. He also co-hosts Sports Talk Live, a daily sports roundtable discussion show on NBC Sports Chicago.

David Kaplan
Chicago, IL
ChildrenBrett, Nicholas, Alex, Garret
ShowKap and Co.
Station(s)ESPN 1000
Time slot9:00 AM-12:00 PM CT
ShowSports Talk Live
NetworkNBC Sports Chicago
Time slot6:00 – 7:00 PM CT

Early life and careerEdit

Kaplan grew up in Skokie, Illinois and is a graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he received a bachelor's degree in English.[1][2]

Basketball careerEdit

He was an assistant on head coach John McDougal's staff at Northern Illinois University from 1983 to 1986.[3][4] He was also a scout for two NBA teams: the Indiana Pacers and the Seattle SuperSonics.[1]

Broadcasting careerEdit

Kaplan worked at Chicago sports radio station WMVP-AM before joining WGN (AM)'s sports staff as a reporter in 1995.[1][2][5]

He became the host of Sports Central at WGN in 1995 and it quickly became Chicago radio's #1 rated sports talk show. He and former Chicago Bears star Tom Waddle co-hosted the show for just over 10 years which at the time was the longest on air sports talk duo in Chicago radio history. After Waddle left to join ESPN Radio in February 2007, Kaplan hosted the show on a solo basis until March 2010. It was the longest-running sports talk show in Chicago (began in 1982), until March 2010 when the former Program Director Kevin Metheny, who was characterized in the Howard Stern movie Private Parts as Kenny "Pig Vomit" Rushton opted to replace the program with a non-sports oriented talk show.[2][5][6][7] In December 2010, after the removal of Metheny, Kaplan signed a new long term contract to stay at WGN Radio as the primary host of a new evening talk show called WGN Sports Night.[8]

In January 2008, Kaplan was named the host of Chicago Tribune Live on Comcast SportsNet.[9] In November 2009, he and the staff of "Chicago Tribune Live" were awarded the prestigious Emmy Award for Best Interview Program for their work on CTL.[2][10][11]

He has also appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and he was in the documentary Hoop Dreams during his basketball scouting days.[12]

In November 2012, Kaplan was hired by the NBC Sports Network to call college basketball games after a long stint as a basketball announcer for ESPN.

He was the co-host of the Kap and Haugh show on Comcast SportsNet Chicago which aired from 2013 to 2015. He partnered with longtime Chicago Tribune lead sports columnist David Haugh on this show.

Kaplan hosted the pre game and post game shows for the Chicago Cubs on either radio (WGN Radio) or TV for 25 seasons from 1995-2019. He was the former pre and postgame host for NBC Sports Chicago's Chicago Cubs broadcasts where he partnered with former Chicago Cubs outfielder Todd Hollandsworth, former Chicago Cubs outfielder David DeJesus and former Cubs outfielder Doug Glanville. He also calls college basketball games for various conferences including the Atlantic 10 Conference on NBCSN, the Missouri Valley Conference, the Horizon League and several others. He has also been the announcer for the Chicago Machine and Chicago Shamrox.[9]


In 2011, Kaplan played a prominent role in the ESPN documentary Catching Hell which chronicled the story of the 2003 Chicago Cubs and fan Steve Bartman who was thrust into the spotlight when the Cubs failed to win Game 6 of the National League Championship Series after leading 3-0 in the 8th inning at Wrigley Field.

He has worked extensively as a basketball game analyst for ESPN.

After a 21-year career at WGN Radio, Kaplan signed a multi-year deal with ESPN in 2015 and he is now the host of Kap and Co., a daily sports radio show that airs on ESPN 1000 in Chicago from 9:00 AM CT till Noon. His main on air sidekicks are executive producer Danny Zederman and associate producer Chris Bleck. His co-hosts are US Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Olczyk who is also the color analyst of the Chicago Blackhawks TV broadcasts and the NHL on NBC in addition to his horse racing analysis on NBC Sports and NBC Sports Chicago broadcaster Pat Boyle.


Kaplan has won three Emmy Awards for his television work including 2 at Comcast SportsNet and 1 for hosting the highly successful A Piece of the Game which is a sports memorabilia show that airs nationally and has received multiple awards for excellence. In addition, he co-authored the award-winning "Around Town" column in the Chicago Tribune with longtime writer Fred Mitchell from 2009-2011. He was inducted into the prestigious WGN Radio Walk of Fame in May 2018. He was also inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches (IBCA) Hall of Fame and the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2017.

He is the only person in Chicago media history to host a daily TV show, a daily radio show and write a regular column in a major newspaper all at the same time.[citation needed]

Personal lifeEdit

Kaplan is married to Mindy Kaplan, an executive with the Lou Malnati's chain of Chicago style pizzerias. Kaplan has a son Brett (25) and three stepsons in 30-year-old Nicholas, 28-year-old Alexander, and 26-year-old Garret and daughter-in-law Jenny. He also has 3 dogs: a mixed breed named Yoshi, a Siberian Husky named Sparky, and a mixed breed named Stanley.


  1. ^ a b c "David Kaplan Bio". WGN Radio. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Larz (15 December 2010). "David Kaplan Signs Long-Term Contract Extension With Comcast SportsNet Chicago". Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Korcek, Mike. "Funeral Services Set For Former Northern Illinois, DePaul Cage Assistant Coach Jay Goedert," Northern Illinois University Athletics, Tuesday, July 6, 2004". Archived from the original on February 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  4. ^ "2009 NIU Athletics Hall of Fame Class Announced," Northern Illinois University Athletics, Monday, July 20, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Feder, Robert (5 April 2010). "Kaplan leaves 'Sports Central' with classy farewell". WBEZ. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  6. ^ Rosenthal, Phil (25 March 2010). "WGN-AM recasts Kaplan, gives Laski 'Sports Central' slot". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  7. ^ Feder, Robert (12 November 2010). "'Pig Virus' quarantined: Metheny, Laski driven out from WGN". WBEZ. Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Sports Central". WGN Radio. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Anchors". CSNChicago. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  10. ^ Greenfield, Jimmy (9 November 2010). "Congratulations to ChicagoNow's Emmy winners!". Chicago Now. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  11. ^ Rosenthal, Phil (15 December 2010). "David Kaplan gets new deal at CSN Chicago". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  12. ^ Kaplan, David; Mitchell, Fred (8 November 2010). "Around Town". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2010.