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Welcome to the game, Chicago Football

Shaw Media and Daily Herald Media Group today announced the launch of Chicago Football, a print and digital sports media franchise covering high school, college and professional football. Veteran football analyst and Chicago-area sports personality Hub Arkush will spearhead the initiative.

The first edition of Chicago Football magazine hits newsstands in early April, and will focus on the Chicago Bears' preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft. The first edition will include exclusive interviews with head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery. It will also break down the professional prospects of Chicago-area players including Jimmy Garoppolo (Rolling Meadows), Jordan Lynch (Chicago), C.J. Fiedorowicz (Johnsburg) and others.

In print, Chicago Football will be a glossy magazine published weekly during the football season, and monthly in the offseason. The publishers also plan to produce several annual football guides to be distributed nationally.

Effective today, the website HubArkush.com becomes ChicagoFootball.com. The new site will provide in-depth news and analysis of the Bears, along with extensive information about the NFC North division and coverage of all 32 NFL teams. The site also will provide analysis of local high school and college programs as the 2014 season approaches.

In addition to Arkush, Chicago Football contributors include Shaw Media's Kevin Fishbain and Tom Musick, and the Daily Herald's premier Bears expert Bob LeGere and fantasy football analyst John Dietz. Veteran designer and editor Bob Peters – who previously worked with Arkush at Pro Football Weekly – also has joined the Chicago Football team. Arkush indicated that he is in the process of hiring additional staff.

Chicago Football will be headquartered in the Daily Herald offices in Arlington Heights.

Arkush noted that the time is right for this venture.

“The NFL's popularity is at an all-time high, and many fans have an affiliation with at least one college and high school program while many follow more than one," Arkush said. "Chicago Football will be unique in its look at the sport from a geographical perspective, and our singular focus will allow us to go more in-depth than other media.”

Arkush indicated that his outlet would aim to create a “community” for area fans, as well as players.

“We believe that players at one level can benefit from the experience of those at another,” Arkush said.

Shaw Media President John Rung said that Chicago Football is part of his company's ongoing expansion into niche publishing.

“We are aggressively expanding our audience. We could think of no better niche to serve than football, and no better analyst to lead our efforts than Hub Arkush,” Rung said.

Representatives from Shaw and Daily Herald Media Group expressed optimism about the alliance.

“The Daily Herald has been a terrific partner on other initiatives,” Rung said. “Their sports coverage is widely regarded as some of the best in the Chicago region, and we are thrilled to be working with them on Chicago Football.”

“The alliance of our strong newspaper brands and our existing commitment to coverage of professional, college and high school football will be a winning combination for our readers and advertisers,” said Scott Stone, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Daily Herald Media Group. “Of course, having the leadership of Hub Arkush adds firepower to an already strong lineup of writers from both of our organizations. What really excites us is the opportunity to focus on all levels of football. It will be a must read for any serious football fan in Illinois.”

Chicago Football's NFL Draft Preview edition will be available on newsstands April 7. The magazine can be purchased at area newsstands or included as part of an annual subscription, available at ChicagoFootball.com.

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