Comcast SportsNet’s Kustok bidding Chicago goodbye
Sarah Kustok, who’s been a rising star since she joined Comcast SportsNet Chicago as a reporter in 2009, is about to leave her hometown and her legion of fans and admirers here.
Through a spokesman, Kustok declined to say where she’s headed, but an announcement is expected on her new position outside of the market as soon as details are finalized. Charlie Schumacher, senior news director of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, confirmed Tuesday that Kustok’s last day here will be August 3.
“We truly appreciate everything Sarah has provided our network over the past three and a half years,” Schumacher said in a statement. “It was a pleasure watching her talents grow with each and every project she handled for us. On behalf of all of us at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, I wish her nothing but the best of luck with her future endeavors.”
Since April, Kustok also has been turning up on NBC 5 as sports anchor on Friday night newscasts and as host of the Sports Sunday highlights show. Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, said he did not know details of Kustok’s move since she is a full-time employee of Comcast SportsNet. Both Comcast SportsNet and NBC/Universal are units of Comcast Corp.
One measure of Kustok’s fan base was the speed with which she attracted Twitter followers. Just three days after launching her account (@sarahkustok) at the end of June, Kustok amassed more than 3,000 followers, according to ChicagoNow blogger Paul M. Banks. As of Tuesday, the number was close to 4,000.
She’s also been a magnet for admirers in person. In a live shot during intermission at a Blackhawks game last January, a smitten fan told Kustok: "I love you, Sarah. You're so pretty and beautiful. I love you." Kustok’s flustered reply: "I don't even know what to say. I'm just going to say thank you. . . . I don't know what to say."
A star athlete at DePaul University, where she graduated with a communication/media studies degree in 2004, Kustok, 30, worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s college and high school remote football broadcasts before joining Comcast SportsNet in 2009.
Tragedy struck Kustok’s family in September 2010 when her mother, Anita “Jeanie” Kustok, was shot to death in her southwest suburban Orland Park home. Allan Kustok, Anita’s husband and Sarah’s father, was charged with first-degree murder and is awaiting trial.