Monday, March 30, 2015

Who will replace Jon Stewart?


According to Variety, one of the people being considered as the new host of the Daily Show is named Trevor Noah.

Read about him here.

UPDATE: He was just named new host of the show. So there.

A sampling of his stand up comedy...

Hot Rod Hundley

Sad news from Arizona in Tom Taylor's NOW column...

“Hot Rod” Hundley played eight seasons of pro basketball with the Lakers – both in their original market of Minneapolis (where the name made sense) and then L.A. (where the team became legendary, despite the relative lack of lakes). When Hundley’s playing days were over, he made the difficult transition to sportscaster, working for the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns - then calling the games of the NBA Jazz for 35 years. He followed the expansion team from New Orleans to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Jazz announced over the weekend that Hundley passed away at 80, at his home in Phoenix. He’d been dealing with Alzheimer’s. The Sporting News says in 2010, “the Jazz hung a banner in his honor, and redecorated the press room, featuring a mural with his signature phrase, ‘You Gotta Love It, Baby.”

Johnny B

To say that Johnny B has landed on his feet is putting it mildly. Today his show debuts on 100 stations nationwide. From this morning's Radio Ink...

Westwood One says The Jonathon Brandmeier Show is rolling out on 100 stations today. The 10 to 1 weekdy talk program will incude as affiliates, KABC-AM in Los Angeles, KLIF-AM in Dallas, WWBA-AM in Tampa and KKAT-AM in Salt Lake City. Brandmeier's home bas affiliates is WLS-AM in Chicago. Westwood One’s SVP for Affiliate Sales Dennis Green said, “We are elated to be launching Jonathan Brandmeier on 100 stations. Our affiliates have come to trust the Westwood One team to provide the best talent for stations and Brandmeier will be no exception. The new wave of Talk Radio Unhinged is coming to your market as we feature news as entertainment as only Johnny B can deliver!”

Johnny B could be the first step in syndicated radio's movement away from political talk. Several of those stations he's appearing on used to be 24-hour conservative-talk stations.

Every Cub Ever (Z)


Today Just One Bad Century features EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter Z. 12 entries in all–from Zip Zabel to Dutch Zwilling.

What will you find there? Four classic baseball cards, three videos, one manager, three Cubs who played in the first season at Wrigley, a player who was banned from baseball and worked in a speakeasy, Big Z, Bunions, Popeye, and the very last entry in the baseball encyclopedia.

Check it out here.

Spring Break

I enjoyed everyone's spring break pictures on Facebook. It inspired me to take my family to Greece. Uh..I mean Greektown. Sort of like going to a foreign country.

The Bernstein-Spiegel Apology Tour

If you've missed the controversy, two talk-show hosts from the Score (Matt Spiegel & Dan Bernstein) have been in hot water over tweets they made discussing the physical anatomy of a female CSN sports host, Aiyana Cristal.

Both men apologized profusely on the air already.

Cristal's statement leads you to believe she isn't completely satisfied with the apologies.

The Association for Women Journalists is definitely not satisfied either.

I get what people are saying about the apologies--claiming both men are only apologizing because they were caught. But while I'm not a big fan of the way Bernstein conducts himself on the air (there is no-one who belittles his own listeners more than he does), I also listened to his apology, and it was obvious to me that he was sincere. He knows he absolutely shouldn't have said what he said, and is truly sorry for saying it. Spiegel's apology was even more heartfelt and authentic, in my book. These were not the typical "I'm sorry you were offended by my comments" apologies that blame the offended and not the offender.

I understand why both Cristal and the AWJ are still upset, but I honestly don't think Bernstein and/or Spiegel should have to say or do more than they already have...other than to never do it again.

I'd be shocked if either of them ever did.

On the other hand, it's not too late for sports radio to add more female voices, and more women behind-the-scenes (producers, management, etc.) From that perspective, this can turn into a positive moment. It's about time to end that whole locker room mentality. It's not even appropriate in a locker room anymore. There's no doubt that it exists in sports radio. No doubt at all.

In offices where there are more women around, men simply don't feel comfortable saying these sorts of things. They'll still think them, but at least they'll have the common decency not to say them out loud.

Midnight Rider

Pretty darn awesome version of the tune...

More Cosby Accusers

Same story. Same ickiness.

Two more women.

If this is a conspiracy against Cosby, it's a massive one.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Every Cub Ever (Y)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter Y. Everyone from George Yantz to Eric Young–12 entries in all.

What will you find there? Two classic baseball cards, a video, two Yerkes, a scribe, a wartime Cub, a 1969 Cub, a player who inspired a classic poem, a pitcher who went 27 straight starts without a win, and a player who dropped a fly ball and ignited a controversy.

Check it out here.

Gregg Jarrett

The Fox News anchor has returned the airwaves after a battle with alcoholism.

TV Newser has the story of his harrowing attempt to get help, and believe it or not, Roger Ailes is the good guy in this story.

WGN Walk of Fame

WGN's Walk of Fame is inducting ten more WGN legends. According to Robert Feder's column this morning, they are...

Eddie Schwartz, Franklyn MacCormack, Steve King and Johnnie Putman, Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Ron Santo, Lou Manfredini and Ward Quaal.

Dylan Gardner

Really enjoyed the Dylan Gardner show at the Beat Kitchen last night. It was like a Landecker & the Legends reunion in the audience. All the surviving band members were there (with their spouses).

After the show I sat down and interviewed Dylan and John Landecker. It will be a very entertaining piece. Look for it on May 1st in the Illinois Entertainer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ode to Bleacher Seat Ticket Holders

April Fools Day Bits

A word of caution for radio shows from today's Tom Taylor column...

Time to revive the annual tradition here of suggesting a little time-out, for second thoughts and some advice from real pros. Today, the hard-earned counsel of consultant Alex DeMers of DeMers Programming – “The best advice we can give is to make sure you've vetted your April Fools concept with a wider group of internal experts than your morning show co-host. While you may lose some of the fun of shocking your co-workers with a great bit, having other stakeholders in on the secret beforehand will likely cause less stress during the aftermath. The personalities and stations that pull off great April Fool stunts are the ones who know their listeners the best. They have a good handle on not just what appeals to their fans and can make them laugh, but they also have a good idea just how far they can ‘fool’ their listeners without risking a really negative backlash. The smartest product managers also keep in mind ‘the little things’ - like the law, Public Safety, FCC regulations, advertisers and their superiors.” The FCC has a “Hoax rule” – and they definitely investigate complaints. Final word today from Alex DeMers – “April Fools stunts are like fireworks...best handled by professionals.”

In my 20+ years of radio, I was involved in exactly three stunts, and two of them were in college. The first one was a fake concert we staged in the cornfields outside Champaign-Urbana. We pretended it was a weekend festival, and we introduced each of the bands as if we were on stage, played live music from albums, and even on-stage banter (when we could find it). Of course it seemed pretty obvious to us that it was a bit--The Beatles played there and it was 1984--but people still drove around looking for the concert.

The next year my co-host and I called my mom on the air (my co-host at that time was a girl) and told her that we had eloped to Las Vegas because "we had to". My mom didn't say anything for about ten seconds before saying "I think you better talk to your father." When I told her it was an April Fools joke, she said she was going to kill me.

We never did it during the Steve & Garry years, and we only did it once during my Landecker years. That time we pretended like John was doing a bit with a zookeeper and was bit by a snake. People called us with ways to save his life, as Catherine Johns took over the show.

Looking back, I'd say that none of those bits were that funny. Maybe because the whole idea of making people feel foolish isn't that funny. It could also just be that I'm getting old and crabby.

Every Cub Ever (X)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter X.

OK, Mea Culpa. There weren’t any. However, we do feature two players who are associated with that letter–one because of his first name, and the other (a Hall of Famer) because of his nickname. There’s also a video and a classic baseball card.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dylan Gardner



Great article in today's Sun Times about Dylan Gardner. I'll be at his show tomorrow night at the Beat Kitchen, along with John Landecker, who will be introducing him on stage. The Gardner/Landecker history is a fun and interesting one that begins with the announcement of Dylan's birth on John's radio show. I'm going to interview both of them for an upcoming column in the Illinois Entertainer.

Here Comes Van Halen!


I've missed the last couple of tours, but I think I may just have to make it to this one. David Lee Roth will be the frontman.

They come to Chicago on July 24th.

I haven't seen them in concert since 1979.

Every Cub Ever (W)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter W. Everyone from Tsuyoshi Wada to Hank Wyse–118 entries in all.

What will you find there? Five Hall of Famers, 15 classic baseball cards, 15 videos, 11 Cubs named Williams, 8 named Wilson, 6 named Walker, 5 named Wright, 4 named Ward, two executives, two classic audio clips, a manager, a scribe, two broadcasters, a celebrity fan, A father/son team, a player shot by a crazed fan, another who firmly believed the world was flat, the man who built Wrigley Field, the man it’s named after, and the man who made it a destination, plus Kettle, Tarzan, Rabbit, and the Arkansas Hummingbird.

Check it out here.

Tom Hanks Help Inaugurate New Late Late Show

James Corden owes Tom Hanks bigtime. This is pretty cool...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yoko's Private Collection

I must have somehow missed this story 15 years ago today. From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

March 24, 2000…World Wide Video paid $1,079,500 for more than nine hours of film taken in February 1970 by Yoko Ono's ex-husband, Anthony Cox. The film contains shots of John Lennon smoking hash, blow drying Yoko's hair, composing "Mind Games," and talking about his political beliefs. The company edited the film into a two-hour documentary called "3 Days in the Life." Yoko Ono, claiming ownership of the film's copyright, sued World Wide Video in 2008 to stop distribution of the documentary. In Boston on June 30, 2009, a federal judge ruled in favor of Yoko Ono, that she is the rightful copyright holder of this rare, intimate footage of John Lennon. Ono says she intends to keep the material private.

It's hard to imagine there is something that Yoko hasn't released by this time...Here's the track John was working on in the unseen film...


FCC Fines TV Station for Indecency

I'm not a big fan of indecency fines, but I can see how this one crossed the line. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Warning – FCC is back in the indecency business...an accidental three-second Full Monty by a Roanoke TV station in its 6pm news has brought out some serious moralizing and protect-the-kids language from the FCC. For the first time ever, it’s imposing the maximum one-time fine of $325,000 – raised ten-fold in the wake of Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl nipple-flash. The object of the fine is Roanoke’s WDBJ-TV...First, the Channel 7 news team was doing a feature on “a former [female] adult film star who had joined a local volunteer rescue squad.” Somebody in the newsroom found some clean footage of the actress’ previous line of work online and thought it was okay for airing. But the photojournalist said “when I recorded the screen shots off a computer, I did not notice the small ’boxes’ at the right of the screen showing other films available from the distributor.” That’s when the trouble started. The FCC says viewers could plainly see “the graphic display of an erect [you know what] being stroked during a news report.” Ironically, the image had nothing to do with the local rescue squad volunteer. It snuck into the frame because the journalist didn’t see the box off to the side.

Johnny B

He made his debut on WLS yesterday. Here's the report from the RAMP Newsletter...

Jonathon Brandmeier debuted his new Westwood One-syndicated talk show yesterday on Cumulus Media's WLS-AM/Chicago. The show airs weekdays from 9-11am CT. Peter Bolger, OM/PD of WLS-AM said, "Chicago loves its personalities. With a line up including 'Big' John Howell, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Dahl, and now Jonathon Brandmeier, WLS-AM can rightfully claim the position as 'Chicago's Talk Leader.'" Brandmeier added, "This is extremely exciting for all of us at The Jonathon Brandmeier Show. Chicago listeners are the best -- intensely spirited, animated and opinionated. And, personally, I finally get to say the call letters I've been practicing to say since I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin -- 'W-L-S!'"

Every Cub Ever (V)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter V. Everyone from Mike Vail to John Vukovich–37 entries in all.

What will you find there? A Hall of Famer, six classic baseball cards, four videos, one song, two executives, two celebrity fans, a manager, the pitcher who tossed two no-hitters in a row, the pitcher who lost the double no-hitter, a legendary father/son team, an incredible mustache, the most annoying Cubs fan in history, plus Hippo and the Antelope.

Check it out here.

Rotary Club Luncheon


I'm speaking at a local Rotary Club on Thursday.

I used to be a big fan of their phones. I think my mom still has one in her house. :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bravest Man Alive

Bruce Bohrer, author of Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher, is entering the belly of the beast for an author event. He will be appearing at the Beverly Arts Center on the south side of Chicago on April 26th. Details below...

3 years ago today

Best Cub Ever (U)

Today we feature EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter U. It’s true there weren’t a lot of them, but there were three.

What will you find there? A Canadian pitcher/outfielder, a batter with a perfect on-base percentage, a classic baseball card, and an usher who worked at the ballpark for nine seasons and wrote a book about his experiences.

Check it out here.

Rick on the Mike Tomano Show


I did an interview with the Mike Tomano show the other day, and it was posted this morning.

The interview starts at about the 17 minute mark.

Wrigley Construction Update

I was in the Wrigleyville neighborhood yesterday to pick up my Cubs tickets for the season, and took a look at the construction progress. They say this is going to be ready by Opening Day? I have a hard time believing that...even before today's snowstorm.

Gold Medal Winners

Last night my youngest son's U12 soccer team (Green White) won the Gold Medal in our indoor soccer league. Congrats to the boys for winning it, despite the subpar coaching.

Classic Rockin'

From Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter this morning, this little tidbit about younger listeners and classic rock...

Younger listeners are rockin’, at record levels. Classic rock “has seen steady growth among 18-34-year old listeners over the past year,” says Nielsen, and is “now consistently the second-most popular rock format with that audience, behind Alternative.” The format of the Stones, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin and the rest of the classic rock Valhalla of heroes “broke records for 18-34 share” at a 4.4 mark. It also “set a new all-time high among audiences 6+ with a 5.1%” and matched the all-time PPM record for 25-54s at a 5.6 level. Alternative also continues to perform well, and “tied its own all-time best mark for audiences 6+” with a 3.0-share. The format hasn’t risen to that average since February 2011.

I've only got one in that demo in my family, but he's definitely a classic rock fan, and the 17-year-old is right behind him. His favorite band is Queen.