Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Ten Best Places to Poop in Downtown Chicago

I kid you not. Somebody has put together a list.

Something to keep in mind if you run into a downtown emergency. The Blackstone hotel is #1:
"The Blackstone’s d├ęcor is from a marvelously stylized noir, and it tunnels down into this nearly unused facility in the lower lobby. A dramatic molding crowns over a sea of black and white marble, ebony wood walls, and a light quatrefoil wallpaper while melodies of a Pitchfork playlist call out softly from the unseen distance. It’s easy to sink into this surrounding, but don’t get carried away – the overhead lights are on a motion sensor and you might get left in the dark."

Today's Best Tweets--April 16

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 16s
10 New Wave secrets finally revealed: the hidden history of Morrissey's shirts, Mike Score's hair and more:

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 3m
Study finds ideology may not be entirely to blame for congressional dysfunction. Lawmakers may just be jerks. …

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 12m
A longshot challenger to Speaker of the House John Boehner is trying to use penis jokes to win election

David Corn ‏@DavidCornDC 14m
"Retard." "Little bitch." "F**kers." New audio tapes show NM GOP Gov. Susana Martinez & aides behind closed doors

Slate ‏@Slate 18m
The story of the elite prostitutes of 18th-century Paris and the detectives who tracked them:

The New York Times ‏@nytimes 4m
Gefilte fish is scarce this Passover. Taste buds are ambivalent

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 8m
RT @carriemuskat: According to reports from NY, #Cubs will tweak rotation vs #Reds: Samardzija Fri, Jackson Sat, Villanueva Sun

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ‏@kaj33 32m
Today is my 67th bday & I want my fans to know only my jersey is retired. My next gig: Columnist, LA Register

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 20m
Listen to Vin Scully tell a famous story about Jackie Robinson:

Ben Bradley ‏@BenBradleyABC7 26m
"One can accept money without it being a bribe" -A rather novel defense from attorney Sheldon Sorosky on Rep Derrick Smith's bribery charge

Media Spotlight--April 16

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Don Bouloukos Reitres
The former WLS executive has been in New York. From today's Tom Taylor column:
Don started in Chicago as an account executive at WLS in 1974. Five years later, he was the VP/GM of both WLS (890) and its sister at 94.7 and he soon moved to New York as VP/Operations for the proud ABC radio station group. He became President of CapCities/ABC Radio stations in 1986 and held that job for a decade – until he joined Steve Dodge and folks like John Gehron and David Pearlman at American Radio Systems. That was sold to CBS in 1998 (a lot of ARS folks had a nice payday), and Bouloukos stayed on with CBS until 2002. He left for a year, came back in Philly, and has been running New York for Dan Mason since 2007. Now we get to the retirement news – Don says “after 41 years, it’s time.”

The Moguls

~As the Rupert Turns
Today's installment features former Rupert editor (and British PM spokesperson) Andy Coulson testifying to save his own skin. The headline reads: Andy Coulson 'Shocked News Of The World Reporter Listened To David Blunkett Voicemails Over Affair'. (Shocked!) He published the story anyway, but he was dutifully shocked before he published it.

~The Washington Post Backs the Comcast/Time Warner Merger
Thanks so much, Washington Post. Yes, they have a few suggested conditions, but when the establishment starts giving a wink and a nod that they won't attack if it's approved, it's not a good sign.

Broadcast News

~Scott Pelley Seeking Big Raise
You can understand why. He makes a piddly $5 million a year. And by the way, his numbers are going down.

~Vice Reporter Smokes Joint While Interviewing Uruguay President
There's a reason for it. Uruguay has legalized pot. But still...


Colbert to Appear on Letterman
The date has been set. April 22nd. Now my DVR needs to be set.

Total Eclipse of the Moon

Time-lapse of the blood moon, and a wacky song about it. Check it out here.

Is AC/DC Breaking Up?

Say it ain't so! That's what this piece in the Huffington Post claims.

Malcolm is ill, and the band has made a vow not to replace any more members.

They've been together for more than 40 years.

Flight Attendant Comedian

Are You A Music Snob?

I took this test, and no, I'm not a snob.

But I am a nerd.

Here's the result: How Much Of A Music Snob Are You? You checked off 33 out of 100 on this list! You’re a major music nerd, and most people in your life consider you to be an expert. You’re very committed, but there’s some lines you don’t cross.

Just One Bad Century--April 16

Yesterday's game with the Yankees was rained out, so they will play two games at Yankees Stadium today. It's a day/night doubleheader. Let's play two, Ernie!

Today on JOBC we go back to the year after Ernie retired. On this day in Wrigley History, a young rookie pitcher tossed a no-hitter. His catcher was Randy Hundley, and he talks about that game at the A/V Club.

Today's Historical Event is the launching of Apollo 16 at Cape Canaveral. Where were the Cubs?

There are five Cubs featured at Today's Cubs Birthdays. Read about the lesser known Babe, the lesser known Sewell brother, the Octypus, a catcher with a very odd record, and a cup of coffee from the 1950s.

As for the latest Cubs news, our top prospect Javy Baez is hurt (ankle injury), and it sounds like he has been having a very rough go of it at Triple A. Darnell McDonald, who ended last season on the Cubs, has retired and was hired by the Cubs to help out in the front office. Kent Sterling has obviously not taken my cup is half full pledge based on his piece about the Cubs. He brings up some great points about the Cardinals vs. the Cubs, but again, half-full Rick is simply going to put his hands over his ears and say "blah blah blah" right now.

Potholes in the News

He's done it again. David Stern's pothole store is now in the Chicago Tribune. Read it here. (If you get the actual newspaper, it's on page 3, above the fold)

We have a new motto over at Just One Bad Century Inc: There's no such thing as a stupid idea.

Once again, enjoy some pothole music...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


You knew I was going to do it, but I thought I'd post this version from the Concert for George. Tom Petty's version of the great George Harrison/Beatles song...

Today's Best Tweets--April 15

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Yankees PR Dept. ‏@YankeesPR 11m
Tonight's Yankees-Cubs game is postponed & will be played tomorrow (4/16) at 1:05pm as the first game of a separate-admission, day-night DH

Barry Butler ‏@barrybutler9 3h
Tax Day Tuesday in That Toddlin' Town @ChooseChicago @WeatherNation @HuffPostChicago @TimeOutChicago #Chicago

NPR's Planet Money ‏@planetmoney 26m
Here's how some of the toughest tax collectors in the world motivate citizens to pay up:

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 1m
Prominent Republican says women need to be paid less so they can find good husbands

Slate ‏@Slate 10m
How a #failedintellectual became one of Twitter's favorite nihilists:

MLB ‏@MLB 4h
Today, we celebrate an #icon. #Jackie42

GB Baseball ‏@GB_Baseball 4h
"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being." #Jackie42

The Associated Press ‏@AP 20m
BREAKING: Heavy gunfire heard at airport in eastern Ukraine after troops move against pro-Russia militia

PBS ‏@PBS 41m
TONIGHT: @kenburns's The Address uncovers how Lincoln's historic words motivate students even today #TheAddressPBS

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 2m
Gefilte Fish is the matzo of sushi. #passoverrealizations

Media Spotlight--April 15

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Chicago Radio Ratings
The very latest, courtesy of Tom Taylor:
The rough Winter’s generally over, and that drops CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM (plus its FM simulcast) to second place, 6.2-6.6-6.1. #1 is Clear Channel’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ, 6.0-6.5-6.5. Third place is held (barely) by Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX, 4.9-5.0-4.9, ahead of Clear Channel CHR “Kiss” WKSC, 4.2-4.5-4.8. That’s the best share for Kiss since August 2012, in a format that often performs better in the warm Summer months. CBS rival “B96” WBBM-FM is off, 4.1-3.8-3.6. Cumulus has a winner in WKQX (2.8-2.6-3.0), restoring alt-rock to the 101.1 frequency it’s LMA’ing from Merlin. (That should convert to a purchase in 2015.) Top-rated talk station is Tribune’s WGN, 4.0-3.7-3.8 (praying for a decent Cubs season). Cumulus talker WLS stays in its range, 2.1-2.2-2.0. In sports, there’s CBS Radio’s “Score” WSCR, 2.6-2.0-2.0 and Disney’s “EPSN 1000” WMVP, 1.7-1.4-1.7. Tribune’s just-out-of-the-box Channel 6 audio “Game” XGWG (in Nielsen parlance) dips 0.6-0.6-0.3. Surging CHR “Kiss” attracts the most Chicago cume at about 2.35 million.

~Jerry Schnake Let Go By Hubbard
Robert Feder has the details about the vice president and market manager of Hubbard Radio Chicago, who was fired in a surprising move yesterday. Schnake oversaw the Mix, the Drive, and whatever they are calling Rewind these days. By all accounts, he was doing a good job. This is a bit of a head scratcher for me.

The Moguls

~Twitter's Co-Founders Aren't Cashing Out...Yet
In May they'll be able to turn their paper fortune into a real cash one, but they say they aren't going to do that. At least not yet.

~As the Rupert Turns
Former Rupert editor (and Prime Minister Cameron spokesperson) Andy Coulson testified yesterday. Rupert's own American paper (the Wall Street Journal) reports on that testimony at the link. The story kind of glosses over the details of what Coulson knew, but it does provide some rather in-depth discussion of the affair Coulson had with Rebekkah Brooks, who is also on trial. (Anybody still wonder why I have given this ongoing story the soap-opera-like title "As the Rupert Turns")

The Pundits

~Lawrence O'Donnell injured in a traffic accident
Here's the statement from MSNBC: “Lawrence O’Donnell and his brother Michael were injured in a taxi accident on Saturday while vacationing out of the country. They were transported back to the US – Lawrence to NYC and Michael to Boston. They are both under the care of doctors and expected to make a full recovery. Lawrence will be off from MSNBC for several weeks as he recuperates. Our thoughts and support are with the O’Donnell family and we look forward to having Lawrence back on the air soon.”


~Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced
The full list is at the the link. There are no Chicago winners. The Washington Post won two, and so did the New York Times (although both of theirs were for photography).

The Radio Biz

~Clear Channel Says Radio Hosts Are Still Relevant
The CEO of Clear Channel, Bob Pittman, was interviewed by Adweek and revealed the findings of a study Clear Channel commissioned. Apparently, people still listen to what radio personalities have to say. OK, obiviously this is a bit of a self-serving reminds me of Chris Christie's report absolving himself of wrongdoing...but if what Pittman is saying is true (and I think it essentially is), then I have one big question for him: Why don't you let your personalities talk?

11 Fun Facts for Blazing Saddles 40th Anniversary

Was it weally weleased 40 years ago? It's twue. It's twue. It's twue.

Here are a few fun facts about the movie you might not have known, courtesy of mental floss.

I knew this stuff already, but that's only because I worked for someone (John Landecker) who was obsessed with the movie and literally knows every single line. And because we interviewed Mel Brooks about it (and that interview, by the way, is on the "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" soundtrack)

Urban Nude Zones

Here's one thing I bet you didn't know about Germans: They love to walk around naked. It's true, although thankfully not true of the Germans I know who immigrated to this country. (And you'll be happy to hear, also not true of me.)

In Munich, they passed a law declaring six areas of the city as "Urban Nude Zones". These are public parks you can walk around completely naked. There's one called the English Garden that's just a short walk from the downtown area. They are normal public parks in every way (swing sets, playgrounds, grassy areas, food carts), except people are naked there.

Here's a comedy tip for you next time you visit an urban nude zone. The food cart guy has heard every bratwurst joke, and will cringe when you tell one. Be ready with your "Don't be a sauerkraut" retort. It may not amuse him (he's German after all), but you'll have a fun cocktail party story for your fully clothed friends later that night.

Just One Bad Century--April 15

The Cubs didn't lose yesterday. Congratulations to the boys. OK, so it was an off-day and they didn't play at all, but remember, I'm half-fulling it this year.

They play the Yankees tonight in Yankee Stadium, and the New York Times has a very snarky Cubs Quiz in the paper today in honor of that. There are 22 questions, and I got 19 right. I'll give you hints to help you on the ones I got wrong...Ernie was a Republican? What's a Donneybrook? And think gambling.

We posted a new This Week in 1908 yesterday. It's Opening Day for the Cubs, and the season starts with a player going into the stands for a fist fight. Also, don't be alarmed by the picture of the German guy with the tiny mustache. It's 1908. He's still just a failed painter. (Spoiler alert for those who hate him...which I'm hoping is everyone reading this. You're really going to love This Week in 1945 in a few weeks).

Today's Cubs birthdays include two players who died very young (around 30), two troublemakers, and two catchers. The A/V Club has video of one of those catchers on the game show "What's My Line".

Today in Wrigley Field history goes back to 1947. One of the biggest stars in the world was in the stands for the game that watch the Pirates. 1961 is also featured. Here's a bit of trivia: the Cubs have never played at Wrigley Field on April 15th during a season they won the pennant (1918, 1929, 1935, 1938, 1945). Must be a tax thing.

Today's historical event is the sinking of the Titantic. Where were the Cubs?

In the latest Cubs news: The Blue Jays are still thinking about trading for Samardizja. Fujikawa may have suffered a setback in his rehab. And here are a few players the Cubs may be looking to draft this year.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Ballad of John & Yoko

45 years ago today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

April 14, 1969…The Beatles' song "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" was recorded by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Paul played bass, drums and piano; John played guitars and sang the lead vocal. At the time, George Harrison was on vacation abroad and Ringo Starr was filming "The Magic Christian." The song was banned by many radio stations as being blasphemous. At some stations, the word "Christ" was edited in backwards or replaced by a guitar note to avoid the ban. Your editor worked at a station (WKNR-Detroit) that did the latter.

Media Spotlight--April 14

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Tribune pushes it's debt onto Tribune Publishing
When a big corporation spins off a division, like the Tribune is about to do with Tribune Publishing, it's usually to make the rest of the company stronger. That seems to be the case here. $325 million in debt is spinning off into Tribune Publishing. I'm guessing there won't be a mad rush to buy Tribune Publishing stock.

The Moguls

~CBS Pays Two Guys $114 Million
From Tom Taylor's NOW column:
At CBS, Sumner Redstone doesn’t mind paying top execs (or himself). Like $66.9 million for President/CEO Les Moonves and $57.2 million for Redstone. The salaries for controlling stockholder Redstone and Les Moonves didn’t change much between 2011 and 2013. But some other things did. Two years ago, Moonves was being richly laden with stock option awards, worth a potential $27.3 million. Last year, that number shrank to $5.8 million – while his outright “stock awards” soared from $8.5 million to $26.5 million. Add in his base salary of $3.5 million, a huge bonus of $28.5 million, and a few other minor categories, and last year Moonves’ total compensation package totaled $66.9 million. He’s typically one of the highest-paid CEOs in the media sector and often among the highest-paid CEOs from any sector. (Media-company CEOs tend to make more than those in other industries.)

~More Obscene Pay Packages
The New York Times profile of Oracle's Larry Ellison is a pretty good hit job. Seems like jag.

The Pundits

~Michael Isikoff Leaves NBC News
From the New York Times article linked above...
NBC News and Mr. Isikoff said the decision to part ways was mutual. “It’s a totally amicable departure,” he said. “I had a good ride at NBC, and I’m proud of a lot of what I was able to do there. But it was increasingly clear they were moving in directions in which there were going to be fewer opportunities for my work.”

Social Media

~Many Twitter Accounts Never or Rarely Tweet
From the Wall Street Journal: "A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, states that about 44% of the 974 million existing Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet." But they count when it comes to number of followers. Keep that in mind when you see someone with millions of followers.

Today's Best Tweets--April 14

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today... ‏@Chicagoist 2m
Your first impulse will be to complain about today's forecast. Try not to. This is temporary.

SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter 8m
Crazy stat of the day: This NBA postseason will be 1st time ever the Lakers, Knicks and Celtics will all miss playoffs.

Brian Palmer ‏@PalmerBrian 16m
Jonas Salk didn't patent the polio vaccine. Does that make him a hero or a fool? @Slate

Gawker ‏@Gawker 28m
The suspect in the shootings at two Kansas Jewish centers has been identified as a former leader of the KKK.

Andrew Beaujon ‏@abeaujon 28m
Sun-Times eliminates Web comments: "embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing”

CatholicCharitiesUSA ‏@CCharitiesUSA Apr 9
CCUSA is proud to uphold Pope Francis' message of humility & service in our work to reduce poverty in America.

Jim Johnson ‏@JimJohnsonWLS 46m
They should have a trap door for guys like this rt@chicagonewsnow: Flight from Chicago lands in Neb. after man tries to exit mid-flight

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 50m
Wisconsin GOP to vote on secession

Craig Larimer ‏@cklarimer 1h
Life is what happens to you while you're waiting for @rogbennett to say something nice about #Liverpool @LFC @JoeNBC

Fred Jacobs ‏@fnjacobs 54m
If there's one problem that the Radio Gods could solve, it would be this one.

Richard Marx

Remember singer Richard Marx? He's Chicago's very own.

This is an incredibly unflattering portrait of him from Salon.

I've never met the man, so I can't comment on the accuracy of his portrayal. But Marx really comes off sounding like a spoiled little brat.

The Doom Loop of Oligarchy

A depressing but informative article about inequality, and where it is headed. The source is

Just One Bad Century--April 14

The Cubs lost two of three over the weekend, but once again, at least they didn't get swept. (I keep saying to myself 'Half Full', 'Half Full', 'Half Full').

JOBC has a whole slew of new content for you today.

This Week in 1945 has been posted. The baseball season was set to begin this week, but it was postponed by the death of President Roosevelt. We've got full coverage of how Chicago, the nation, and the baseball world reacted to that shocking event.

Today's Cubs birthdays features the greatest pitcher ever produced by the Cubs farm system. There isn't even a close second place. The A/V club features a video of him in action in 1985, when he was still in the minor leagues with the Peoria Chiefs.

Today in Wrigley history tells the tale of the longest homer in Wrigley history, a few walk-off victories, and the day that inspired the Cubs to put up the Wrigley Field basket. (The years are 1961, 1970, 1976, and 1978)

Today's Historical Event is the birth of actor Rod Steiger in 1925. Where were the Cubs?

If you weren't around over the weekend, Saturday's birthdays included a man named Moose, and Sunday's birthdays paid tribute to a shadowy Cubs pitcher. Wrigley history from 1921, 1927, 1933, 1965, 1976, 1984 and 2003 were covered. And the historical events were the first space shuttle (1981) and Tiger's first Masters (1997).


The Chicago News website did a big story on the pothole store over the weekend, which brought a ton of traffic to Dave's site. It was written by someone who totally gets the concept, and totally gets pothole store creator David Stern.

The article just happened to coincide with the debut of the "Pothole Song" video. I wrote the lyrics with Dave, Vince Argento sang the vocals, and the video was produced by Tommy Kaempfer...

Friday, April 11, 2014

50 Years Ago Today

The Beatles had 14 songs in the top 100. Incredible. They were...

1. "Can't Buy Me Love"

2. "Twist and Shout"

4. "She Loves You"

7. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

9. "Please Please Me"

14. "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"

38. "I Saw Her Standing There"

48. "You Can't Do That"

50. "All My Loving"

52. "From Me to You"

61. "Thank You Girl"

74. "There's a Place"

78. "Roll Over Beethoven"

81. "Love Me Do"

Didn't realize that this one made it that high. It's one of my favs...

Media Spotlight--April 11

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

The Moguls

~Rupert Interview
He often tweets and spouts (and testifies), but he doesn't often sit down for an interview. Fortune Magazine talked to Rupert about his ex-wife, his pick for 2016, and more. The link I'm providing here goes to Time Magazine's summary, but a link to the article itself is contained there too.

~Moonves Buys Mansion on Billionaire's Beach
That's in Malibu, by the way. Naturally he bought it from another billionaire--Paul Allen.

Broadcast News

~CNN Is Dropping Talk Show in the 9ET/CT Slot
Documentaries will air in that timeslot instead. I can see the logic in this. Even during the last ten years or so of Larry King's reign, the talk show didn't do well in that timeslot.


~Variety's Take on Stephen Colbert Hiring
They sound a little skeptical about Colbert at Variety. I'm not at all. I've been watching him since he worked in Chicago. Don't underestimate the guy's talent. He is defintely not a one-trick pony. Also, they quote his ratings in this piece and compare them to Fallon, Kimmel, and Letterman. Um, you'd think this was obvious, but let me point it out in case it isn't. He's on Comedy Central!

~Is Craig Ferguson on the Way Out Too?
Sounds like it when you read the comments from Les Moonves. He flat out says "12:30 is up in the air". If I'm Craig Ferguson and I'm reading that, I'm quietly packing my bags.

Today's Best Tweets--April 11

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Lou Brutus ‏@LouBrutus 3m
I never met a Friday I didn't like. #HappyFriday #TGIF

Alex Quigley ‏@alexquigley 6m
Today is the weather day that we dreamed about all winter long. We finally made it.

Lou Manfredini ‏@loumanfredini 3m
Yes spring is here. Our tulips are starting to sprout! Woot woot!! What are your signs that spring is here?

New York Post ‏@nypost 34m
Barack saves Michelle from an embarrassing Marilyn Monroe moment

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 30m
Hillary Clinton dodges shoe thrown at her during speech in Las Vegas - watch the video:

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 41m
NJ Man Accidentally Shot Himself At An NRA Event …

Esquire Magazine ‏@Esquiremag 1h
Meet the man who will be James Brown:

Jim O'Donnell ‏@jodonnell17 52m
Jim Nantz is sooooo Bushian; dandy pick to sit next to at Osmonds concert.

Wayne Slater ‏@WayneSlater 59m
GeoWBush at LBJ Library: "Former presidents compare their libraries the way other men compare their … well ... Wonder how LBJ would've?"

Naomi Klein ‏@NaomiAKlein 6m
Really impressive letter from 100 Harvard faculty members on the moral imperative of fossil fuel divestment

Sounds Painful

Thanks "JJ" for sending this...

Just One Bad Century--April 11

Another tough loss yesterday afternoon for the Cubs (5-4 to the Pirates...after leading 4-0). It's getting harder to be Mr. Bright Side (my New Year's Resolution). How about this: They haven't been swept yet this year. The Cubs go back at it tonight against the Cardinals.

Today in Wrigley Field history goes back to 1967 and 1969. Our Hall of Fame pitcher beats his old team in one game, and in the other, a brand new franchise (that has since relocated) makes it's first ever appearance in Chicago.

Today's Historical Event is the U.S. sending troups to Vietnam for the first time. Where were the Cubs?

Four former Cubs are celebrating a birthday today. One of them had his very last career at-bat in the World Series. Another is the only big leaguer in history born in Singapore. Do you realize that when this year is over, I will have featured every single player who ever wore a Cubs uniform? I usually think about that on days like today when I feature such obscure players.

The A/V Club features Sam "Toothpick" Jones, who became the first African American Cub to win a game on this day in 1955.

And, just for kicks, I checked out the Count Up Clock on the home page at Just One Bad Century. It tracks (down to the second) how long it has been since the Cubs last won the World Series. In case you were wondering, as of 7:13 this morning, we're at 38530 days 7 hours 14 minutes and 58 seconds.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kurt Cobain

Today is the 20th anniversary of Cobain's funeral. Over 5000 fans attended. The surviving members were on Jimmy Fallon last night. They'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

It inspired me to look up this video. I remember watching this and discussing it with my Loop colleagues. I remember Dave Benson, our music director at the time, saying "This is not going to end well for Kurt Cobain."

Today's Best Tweets--April 10

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Guess what's trending on Twitter?

CBS Television ‏@CBS 24m
Stephen Colbert announced as the next host of #LateShow ! More details here:

jimmy fallon ‏@jimmyfallon 13m
I'd like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert.

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper 4m
Who inspired Stephen #Colbert to be a comedian? Our web exclusive from last yr #tbt #TheLead

gwen ifill ‏@gwenifill 51m
So I guess this means #CancelColbert worked? After a fashion?

Patton Oswalt ‏@pattonoswalt 3m
Hey, could someone ask Suey Park to start a #CancelOswalt campaign? I'd love to host the Oscars next year.

Slate ‏@Slate 2m
We want to congratulate Stephen Colbert, who's been a friend to Slate. Here he is 'as himself' on our Gabfest in 2013

Paula Faris ‏@paulafaris 5m
Stephen Colbert's publicist tells @ABCNews "I won't be doing the new show in character, so we'll all get to find out how much of him was me"

Pete Dominick ‏@PeteDominick 49m
CBS just announced its Colbert. I wrote a piece last week for @thedailybeast as to why he'll be great

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 20m
If yer curious what Colbert's like out of character, here's some rare video we took several years ago …

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow 24m
Congrats @StephenAtHome ! The world rejoices!

Media Spotlight--April 10

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~US-99 Hires New Afternoon Talent
Her name is Shila Nathan and she comes here from Scranton. From Radio Online:
"I have had my eye on Shila for a few years and I'm very excited to have her join the air staff at US99.5," said Jeff Kapugi, CBS RADIO Vice President, Country Programming and Program Director, WUSN. "She's a very dynamic personality that brings a fresh approach to afternoon drive in Chicago, Shila joins a talented team featuring Lisa and Ray in mornings, recently promoted midday host Drew Walker and 'Jax' at night."

~Former CBS Marketing Director Writes Book About Cancer
His name is Ken Churilla and he has a compelling story to tell. The link will take you to Chicagoland Radio & Media for more information.

~A Radio Story From Way Back
From Tom Taylor's NOW Column today, this story from over 50 years ago:
Syndicated host Stan Major says "Back in 1959-1960 when I was rocking away every afternoon on Chicago's WJJD, I was quite popular. Well, it was way before WLS and our only competition was WIND, with a signal that might get to La Grange, but we were heard all the way to Boston. Some creep in the thief business decided he would pose as me and approach the teen cashiers at local businesses and pull the fast-change scam. It appeared to work. He said he was 'Stan Major' and 'on the radio,' and the cashiers got a bit flustered. He gave them a $5 bill, then claimed it had been a $20. He pulled this off for awhile without getting caught. Someone at a store called me and told me what was going on. I never heard anything from any police department, but I do know that one store he hit was in Mt. Prospect, the suburb where our home was. It all faded away when I left Chicago, and I’ve never mentioned it until now."

The Moguls

~Comcast CEO to Congress: "Comcast represents the American dream"
And, we wll know the American dream is to crush your competition and create a monopoly so you can charge as much as you want without having to answer to your customers needs and wants. Who wouldn't want to live that dream?

~As The Rupert Turns
Turns out the story that broke this whole phone-hacking scandal in Britain in the first place (the hacking of the missing kid's phone--which was denied vehemently by all involved at the time), was absolutely true this whole time. It has now been confirmed under oath in a courtroom.


~Colbert gets the Late Show Gig!
It's official now. It's being announced this morning. Should be an awesome show. Very excited.

~Why is Jimmy Fallon Killing It in the Ratings?
His interviewing is a work in progress (at best), but then he'll do something (easily sharable) like this. Dude's got talent...

What Are You Giving Up For Lent?

I asked a buddy of mine this question (via e-mail), and he sent me this. Made me laugh.

Tipping Table

This is helpful for tipping in America. If you're like me, and you're never quite sure, it may help you too.

Imagine The Band

Cool mashup of "Imagine" instrumental sped up and "Band on the Run" vocals slowed down...

Which Biblical Character are You?

I took the quiz.

This is not good. I turned out to be Eve.

The description: "You have a big heart and are very protective of the ones you love. You will go out of your way to care and provide for your friends and family and expect little in return."

Throw Back Thursday

Throw back Thursday.

My sister and I in 1967 or so.

Not sure why they called me the German boy.

Just One Bad Century--April 10

Big Cubs win last night. Jason Hammel is 2-0. Anthony Rizzo got four hits. It's nice to win even when your pitchers give up five homers (including two in the ninth that made me a little nervous).

On JOBC toay, we've got a new batch of Historical Events for this week. Today's entry is about Paul McCartney announcing the breakup of the Beatles. Where were the Cubs?

Today in Wrigley history bookends Billy Williams Cubs years...1959/1974. It was also a momentous day in 1992. Find out why.

Today's Cubs birthdays include a Cub who became a TV star, a local Mt. Prospect boy, and someone they called Tacky Tom. The A/V Club has video from our famous Cub's television series.

In today's Cubs news, it appears the team is seriously talking about moving out of Wrigley. For the time being, I'm choosing to consider that posturing, and/or frustration talking. Junior Lake is frustrated that he's only playing against lefties. And, there's one more name in the minor league system you should be excited about: Dan Vogelbach.

Cubs are back in action today against the Pirates. It's a 1:20 game. Travis Wood will be on the mound for the Cubs.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Media Spotlight--April 9

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~The Latest on the Cubs Broadcast Plans
Lewis Lazarre of Chicago Business Journal says that WBBM-AM has the inside track.

~Steve Harvey's in the NAB Hall of Fame
Tom Taylor's column has a few highlights from his speech yesterday...
Steve Harvey obviously knew the NAB honor was a big deal, but he’s a professional funny guy, and here are a couple of lines from his appearance that ran over-time (though nobody complained). First, he acknowledged the winners of the Crystal Awards, saying those stations are “giving to the community, helping Habitat for Humanity, feeding hungry people…it’s radio the way it should be done.” Then he jokes about the Radio Luncheon food – “That is the biggest piece of free meat I’ve ever seen...I’m scared of my steak.” The onetime Apollo Theater entertainer shares a story from his first radio gig in Chicago, hired by Marv Dyson, recalling that he’d heard a news story about Heineken pulling its ads off a show in London because there were too many black people on it. He urged his listeners to drop their Heinekens “on the [freeway], and they did. I thought it was cool.” But the account executive at the station was “having a brain aneurism” and told Steve “how it was affecting his family. I told him I didn’t give a damn.”

~Chet Coppock
Polishing up my latest Illinois Entertainer column. Due date is tomorrow. Release date is May 1. What does Chet talk about? Let's just say that he isn't holding back.

The Moguls

~Opposing the Merger
Groups opposed to the Time Warner/Comcast merger are doing something that Time Warner and Comcast must support. They are merging. Details at Media Bistro.

Broadcast News

~Fox News Coverage of Climate Change is Now More Scientifically Accurate!
They used to contain inaccurate or misleading statements in 93% of their reports. They are now only inaccurate 72% of the time! Congratulations. (Note: These figures come from a scientific organization, so they obviously can't be trusted. We all know about that giant worldwide scientists-conspiracy)


~Julia Louis Dreyfuss nude on cover of Rolling Stone
Can you spot the problem in this photo? It took me a minute to see it too. The writing on her back is the U.S. Constitution, but it also has John Hancock's signature. The problem with that is John Hancock didn't sign the constitution--he only signed the Declaration of Independence. (Don't worry...I also noticed she's nude. I'm an old curmudgeon. Not a dead one.)

~FX Networks Plan For the Simpsons
T-Dog Media summarizes the details that are behind the paywall of Broadcasting & Cable for those of us (I'm raising my hand) too cheap to subscribe.

Today's Best Tweets--April 9

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Emily Bazelon ‏@emilybazelon 13m
The passionate case for bringing up kids w/ lots of risk & adventure …

Michael Tomasky ‏@mtomasky 1h
New Column: Repubs don't want women to have equal pay. They've proven it many times. Believe them. via @thedailybeast

Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney 35m
Theo's plan won't bank on Cubs selling minority ownership shares:

David Frum ‏@davidfrum 34m
In honor of Appomattox anniversary, here’s link to classic James Thurber essay, “If Grant Had Been Drinking …” …

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom 37m
No stars? Check. Still winning? Check. Blackhawks tweak their checklist. The RosenBlog:

#AMillionWays ‏@AMillionWays 8h
Anyone dressed like Spider-Man in the Old West would've been dragged through town and fed to pigs. #AMillionWays

Steve Grzanich ‏@SteveGrzanich 1h
Temps remain near or above 60 all week in #Chicago

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 2m
Prince George got through his first public engagement and only made one little girl cry

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner 6m
RT @Bardball: Hank Aaron gets the "Sgt. Pepper" treament: … #braves

Matthew Hasselbeck ‏@Hasselbeck 18m
Every time I get tested for steroids reminds me of the elderly lady at the airport that TSA pulls out of line for a pat down.

A Great Commentary About Race

By a comedian...who else?

The Alma Mater Statue Returns to Champaign

I didn't know it has been gone for two years for refurbishment. I also, admittedly, wouldn't have cared.

But if you do care, my fellow Illinois Alums, there is a live webcam to watch them put her back in place this morning (between 9 & 10am).

Wayne Messmer

20 years ago today Wayne Messmer was shot by a couple of teenagers...

New Definition of Heartless

I know a guy who had his pay docked for attending his own father's funeral (OK, it was me), but this story about a celebrity chef in New York is even worse.

He was fired while caring for his dying wife, who died the day after he was fired.

11 Little Known Facts About Lefthanders

This piece is in the Huffington Post. I found it interesting as the father of a lefty, and a grandson of one (not to mention son-in-law, and brother-in-law of lefties).

Fact #8 perfectly explains my son Johnny. (Photo from about ten years ago)

Just One Bad Century--April 9

Another tough loss last night against Pittsburgh, but once again, there was a silver lining (I'm beginning to feel like Jack Brickhouse saying that all the time). Last night we saw the re-emergence of Starlin Castro, who hit two homers and drove in four runs.

At JOBC, there's lots of new content today. The latest This Week in Wrigley History has been posted. Today's entry takes you back to opening day 1963, and also 1989.

Today's historical event is the Chicago 8 Trial. Where were the Cubs?

Today's Cubs Birthdays features 8 Cubs, including one of their best pitchers of all-time (with a great nickname) and the pitcher they actually believed would replace Greg Maddux. It's also Hef's birthday, and the A/V Club has a look at his years in Chicago, when several prominent Cubs were known to visit his mansion and club. (Leo? Is that you? How old are you?)

As for the latest Cubs news, it looks like the new radio home for the Cubs could be WBBM-AM.

Also, I love this interview with die-hard Cubs fan Pete Wentz. He's the lead singer of the Mountain Goats, a popular alternative band, who did this song ("Cubs in Five") about two decades ago.

Watch it here...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

My Kind Of Town

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

April 8, 1964…At United Recorders in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "My Kind Of Town."

Media Spotlight--April 8

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Roy Leonard Remembers Mickey Rooney
He remembers him the same way I do...a scary interview.

~WGCI & WVAZ Make Some Nighttime Changes
From the RAMP Newsletter...
Clear Channel Chicago just announced some significant evening personality alterations on both Urban WGCI and Urban AC WVAZ (V103) -- longtime WGCI Whispers In The Dark host Chris Michaels (top) will cross the hall to do nights on sister WVAZ, while DJ Moon Dawg has been upgraded from weekends to nights on WGCI, effective immediately. V103's Quiet Storm with Chris Michaels will now air Sunday-Thursday from 10pm-2am, followed by the syndicated Keith Sweat Hotel.

~This American Life Considers Self-Distribution
Not technically a Chicago story, but we do claim them, don't we? The New York Times has the details.

~Tony Fitzpatrick Is Leaving Chicago
According to this piece in Chicago magazine, the artist and former radio host is moving to New Orleans next winter.

The Pundits

~Al Sharpton was an FBI Informant?
According to today's New York Daily News (who got it from Smoking Gun), he tape-recorded conversations that helped bring down the Genovese family. Who knew?

~Barbara Walters Leaving on May 16
Good for the 84-year-old Walters. You'll be seeing a lot of her that week. ABC is planning an all-out farewell. Details at the link.

~Ezra Klein's New Venture Goes Live
The other co-founders are Matt Yglesias and Melissa Bell. I like the concept of trying to "explain the news". It used to be called journalism.

The Radio Biz Rips Cumulus
The firebombing right-wing website has turned its guns on Cumulus broadcasting, blaming them for destroying talk radio in this country. Even if I agree with the general conclusion, I don't agree with this reasoning for why it is happening...
"Conservatives say the Dickeys exacerbated Cumulus’ woes when they decided to add Mike Huckabee to the Cumulus lineup in an effort to soften the conservative message by bringing, as Huckabee put it, “more conversation, less confrontation.”
Yes, that's it. Too nice. That's the reason talk radio is dying. Not because of the actual good points made in the article up until that point. Read the article. It's actually good up until that moment.

15 Things You Didn't Know About "Major League"

The movie was 25 years old yesterday. Yahoo Sports has some good behind-the-scenes stuff about the movie at the link.

To me, the only thing I remember from that movie is Bob Uecker. I thought the rest of the movie wasn't that great--certainly not compared to "Bull Durham" (which came out the year before) or "Field of Dreams" (which came out a few weeks later).

Penn & Teller Take on the No-Vaccinations Crowd

Nicely done...

Peaches Geldof Dies At 25

Bob Geldof's daughter died yesterday at the age of 25. This is a shocker. A lot of us who follow the music world remember her birth, because that was at the peak of Geldof's international fame, and her mother Paula Yates was also famous. (And to be honest, we made fun of the fact that they named her Peaches).

Mom died of a heroin overdose at age 41. Now the daughter is gone too (cause of death still unknown).

The Huffington Post has more on the story.

Today's Best Tweets--April 8

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today... ‏@TIME 9m
Anonymous launches new cyberattack against Israel

Byron York ‏@ByronYork 26m
On Fox, Bush gave impression of someone who'd like to be president but has been out of the game for a while…

Joe Trippi ‏@JoeTrippi 14m
As a Democrat who saw Jeb Bush at College Station he would be tough opponent. GOP reaction is interesting

MLB ‏@MLB 36m
40 years ago today, @HenryLouisAaron passed Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list: #Icon

sabr ‏@sabr 15m
40 years ago today, @HenryLouisAaron hit one of the most iconic HRs in baseball history. Read his #SABR bio here: …

The Verge ‏@verge 26m
Twitter is about to look a lot more like Facebook

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 29m
The man at the center of Chris Christie's "Bridgegate" scandal is cooperating with prosecutors

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 39m
Don't hate Rob Lowe because he's beautiful

NPR Politics ‏@nprpolitics 40m
This story raises the question, is there such a thing as a private indiscretion for members of congress?

Richard Lewis ‏@TheRichardLewis 53m
Two sober lunatics.

Just One Bad Century--April 8

The Cubs are back in action today. They'll be taking on the Pirates at Wrigley Field tonight at 7:00pm. Edwin Jackson vs. Charlie Morton. I don't need to tell you this about an April night game, but I will anyway. Dress warm. Game time temperature is expected to be 42 degrees.

Speaking of 42, Today's Cubs birthdays include the evil villain of the movie "42", plus the actual goat from the 2003 playoffs (not the Billy goat, and not Steve Bartman)

This Week in 1908 was posted yesterday. This week we take a look at the many newspapers in Chicago in 1908, plus we learn about a new rule in baseball called the "tidy ball" rule. The Cubs season hasn't started yet.

Today in Wrigley history is the very memorable story of Willie Smith's walk-off opening day homer in 1969. The A/V club features video of him hitting it.

Today's hisorical event is the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Where were the Cubs?

And the Cubs website has a nice article today about the history of the Wrigley Field Marquee.