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Controversial sports talk-show host Mike North announces retirement

Mike North, former WSCR-AM afternoon sports radio host, announced his retirement on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. | Sun-Times

Mike North, who rose from a hot-dog vendor to became a controversial sports talk host, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

“Hey folks, as you know locally on Channel 11 last night, I announced my retirement from sports media,” North said in a Twitter video. “And you know what? That means my Daily Herald column, Friday will be my last column. My podcasts, both ‘Sticks and Stones’ and ‘Black and Blue Baseball’ October 1. We’re not going to be on today and for a while because of what’s going on in Houston. That’s where it’s produced.

“I want to thank everybody in Chicago, I want to thank everybody around the nation. Worked at The Score, worked nationally with Fox Sports Radio, doing podcasts — making money doing podcasts — the column in the Daily Herald. You know what? I just got tired of chasing myself at the end of the day. Love you all, and thank you so very, very much, from the media to the listeners.”

The 65-year-old Chicago native was one of the original voices on The Score (670-AM). He was paired up with former Bears lineman Dan Jiggetts to make up the “Monsters of the Midday” in 1992.

North, who has a polarizing presence that often makes for good programming, has had a long career hosting television, radio and internet programs. During his career, North was no stranger to controversy. In on-air interviews, he tangled with former Bears chairman Michael McCaskey, the late Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz and former Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.

He was criticized for calling Korean Cubs pitcher Jae Kuk Ryu a ‘‘Chinaman.” And most recently, he criticized ESPN broadcaster Jessica Mendoza calling her “the worst baseball announcer who has ever announced the game of baseball.”

After leaving The Score in 2008, he participated in various internet ventures and co-hosted “The Monsters in the Morning” on Comcast SportsNet with Jiggetts, with whom he also wrote a column for the Sun-Times.

From 2010 to 2016, he hosted a program on Fox Sports Radio. Most recently, he has produced his own daily podcasts and written a column for the Daily Herald.

North is a two-time Chicago Emmy Awards winner and was the first radio broadcaster to be inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.