Friday, August 18, 2017

Mitch Michaels, Author

Officially an author! Mitch Michaels gets the first copy of his brand new book! Congratulations Mitch! The storyteller's stories have been immortalized on paper. Pre-order your copy today. Book ships at the end of this month.

Bye Bye Bannon

This leaves only two White Nationalists in the West Wing (Gorka and Miller)...

Mark Suppelsa Retires

Have to admit, I didn't see this one coming. At the age of 55, Mark Suppelsa is retiring as the anchor of the WGN-TV News.

He doesn't say so, but I strongly suspect this has at least a little something to do with Sinclair broadcasting's purchase of the station. When they take over, if past purchases are any indication of future actions, they will force all WGN broadcasts to show right wing propoganda as part of their newscasts.

I'll miss Suppelsa on TV. He's an actual journalist, but not one that took himself too seriously. I interviewed him previously for Shore Magazine. You can read that interview here.

"Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars" Book Signing in Texas

Eckhartz Press author Bill Paige resides in the Austin area, so he set up shop in his adopted home to sell some of his books, the highly acclaimed Everything I Know I learned from Rock Stars.

Bill drew a big crowd, sold a bunch of books, and is now spreading some of that rock and roll wisdom throughout Texas.

If you aren't yet familiar with the book, Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars reveals decades of music reporting and candid conversations with 50 influential artists including Roy Orbison, Queen, Electric Light Orchestra, Grace Slick, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, The Go-Go’s, Van Halen, Joe Jackson, Genesis, Boy George, Journey, Sparks, Cheap Trick, Adrian Belew, Nils Lofgren, B.B. King, and Robyn Hitchcock. These encounters are framed by memorable stories and anecdotes from both sides of the concert stage. Raw and real, Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars is a captivating personal time capsule guaranteed to fire the imagination of any music fan.

Below are a few of those music fans with their brand new book!

Bill Paige book signing 9

Bill Paige book signing 1
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bill Paige book signing 3

Bill Paige book signing 4

Bill Paige book signing 5

Bill Paige book signing 6

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bill Paige book signing 8

Champaign Urbana Radio Ratings

Tom Taylor's NOW Column printed this today, and I'm reposting it here simply because of the mention of my old college radio station WPGU...

Champaign, Illinois hasn’t been surveyed by Nielsen since Spring 2015. Here are the three-book trends from Eastlan for the top-ten finishers (plus a couple more) – Saga’s #1 and #2 in this big college market with country WIXY (9.9-13.5-11.6) and hot AC “Mix 94.5” WLRW (9.0 to 10.1 and another 10.1). Third is DWS Inc.-owned news/talk WDWS (7.9-10.4-9.6). A different kind of news/talker jumps to fourth – University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign’s not-for-profit news/talk WILL-AM (7.5-7.1-8.6). That makes Neuhoff’s urban “Hot 105.5” WCZQ fifth (7.7-8.8-7.8). Eastlan’s second five - Illinois Bible Institute’s contemporary Christian non-com WBGL (4.7-4.0-5.8). SJ Broadcasting’s CHR WQQB (6.7-5.1-4.6). Tied for eighth are DWS-owned AC “Lite Rock” WHMS (5.3-3.7-3.5) and U. of Illinois-owned WILL’s not-for-profit news/classical sister WILL-FM (4.5-4.1-3.5). Saga’s back with the #10 player, classic hits WREE (2.9-2.6-3.4). Illini Media does alternative on eleventh-ranked WPGU (3.4-2.6-2.9). It’s a commercial station owned by the University and run by students. Some distant Chicago stations make the Champaign book, including Cumulus-owned talk WLS (1.1-1.3-1.6) and Tribune’s talk WGN (0.5-0.7-1.3).

Way to go, WPGU! We were in the top five when I was there, but there are a lot more radio stations down there now.

Chicago Radio Bands Together to Promote...Chicago Radio

From Radio Ink...

More than 40 Chicago radio stations will simultaneously air a 60-second interview with John Alfirevich, dealer operator of Apple Chevrolet and president of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers Association, discussing how radio is a strong and proven channel for advertisers. The interview will air on Tuesday at 4:29pm. Alfirevich said, “Our association is dedicated to providing our Chevy dealers with exceptional marketing programs showcasing Chevrolet’s world class products in an honest and ethical way. Radio keeps Chevy engaged with the Chicago community, and provides that broad-reaching foundational piece to our marketing plan.”

Four companies own more than half of those stations, so don't be too impressed that these "competitors" are working together. Still, it's a good idea.

The Bears in Mt. Prospect

What a strange day yesterday in my hometown. I live only a mile or so away from Prospect High School, and who showed up there yesterday? The Chicago Bears!

The President Collects Magazine Covers of Himself

But I suspect these will not be kept in the collection. The Economist on the left, and Time Magazine on the right.



Here's another one...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 62


EP62 – Rick and Dave discuss lunch-time speed passes, Elvis Minutia, why beer makes you smarter, where the Cubs were when Elvis died, and Rick’s brush with Jim McMahon.

Listen to it here.

Kathy Hart Finally Speaks Out

She's half of the "Eric & Kathy Show" team, but she's mysteriously been absent the past four months. Today she sent out this statement to her fans...

To everyone who has reached out with concern and support these last few months, I want to say a very sincere thank you. As open as we’ve always been on the show, it was certainly uncharacteristic to not explain my absence . . . and even more uncharacteristic for me to be silent for this long. 😉 I trust from the many years of our connection, you will support and respect the personal nature of why I have been off the air.

It has been challenging, mentally and physically, to be away for this long, especially on days like Friday for the live broadcast from Lurie Children’s for “Eric & Kathy’s Kids.” I’ve always admired how E&K listeners come together to love and support these kids and their families. It’s also a great reminder that health and family should never be taken for granted and always come first, no matter what.

I have always considered the Mix and our listeners as family, and want to express my infinite gratitude to everyone who has reached out to me personally and supported me publicly. Please stay tuned as I fully intend to be back on the air!

Rick Renteria

Rick Renteria was a good soldier for the Cubs. He came in to manage a team full of youngsters on the rise, and just when they were about to reach their potential, he was dumped in favor of Joe Maddon. I always thought Renteria got a raw deal, even though I agreed (and still agree) with the move to bring in Maddon.

Apparently the Cubs agree that he got a raw deal. They gave Rick a World Series ring.

(Photo: Different Rick wearing a World Series ring. This Rick still hasn't received one. He's wearing someone else's)

Can CBS/Entercom Merger Still Fall Through?

Short answer: No.

From this morning's Radio Ink...

There’s been some speculation as to what would happen to the CBS/Entercom deal if Entercom’s stock continued to slide. After meeting with Entercom CEO David Field and CFO Rich Schmaeling, Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker told investors not to worry, there is no “out” in this deal. “This has been somewhat miscommunicated to the Street for whatever the reason, so we will clarify it here. CBS Radio and ETM are contractually obligated to get this deal done – regardless as to ETM’s stock price. We stress that both parties are fully committed but we thought it relevant to highlight the contractual obligation as well.”

Don't worry. A few people will still get their big paydays and everyone else will be sacrificed eventually to help ease the heavy debt load as the stock tanks.

Nobody Will Defend the President

Yesterday the bookers at Fox News (that's right, Fox News) couldn't get a single current Republican to come on the air to defend Donald Trump's press conference.

The same was true at CNN and MSNBC.

Also, the businesspeople/CEOs have left the commissions that President Trump put together to facilitate a better relationship with the government and help with job growth.

Turns out that saying nice things about people who march with Nazis isn't such a great idea after all. Finally there's a red line that has been crossed, and that red line is a red armband.

On the other hand, over 30% of Americans are still with him. For them, there is no line.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Front Page

Bob Shannon's "Turn it Up" available beginning today!

Bob Shannon’s book Turn it Up: American Radio Tales 1946-1996 comes out today on e-book via Eckhartz Press. Click here to purchase your copy on amazon.

Bob chose August 16th as the release date for a special reason. It’s the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Elvis was special in Bob’s career–Bob was the one entrusted with letting the Dallas radio audience know about Elvis’ passing. That touching story is told in the audio clip posted today at Eckhartz Press.

Bob’s book is also about the all-time great radio personalities, and that includes Dewey Phillips from WHBQ Memphis. Who is Dewey, you ask? Only the first disc jockey in America to play Elvis Presley on the radio.

This audio clip has that story too, and it’s a good one.

Bob’s audio gives you a good idea of what yuu’ll encounter in the pages of Turn it Up: American Radio Tales 1946-1996. Great stories told with great flair.

If you love radio, you’ll love Turn it Up: American Radio Tales 1946-1996

First Day of High School

Son #3 on his first day of high school. Our last one...

On the President's Favorite Show

A long-time defender of Trump says this...

My Favorite Elvis song

I love quite a few Elvis songs, but this one is my favorite. Here he is with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Elvis' Death

This is the 40th anniversary of his death. I was in Germany when it happened, and it was just as big of a story over there. Germany loved Elvis after his stint there in the Army...

Jimmy Kimmel Rips Trump

He (correctly) compares Trump press conference to Tyson biting Holyfield's ear. Completely f-in crazy. He also has an idea for how to get rid of Trump.

I agree with...Clay Aiken?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Seth Meyers' Statement on Charlottesville

What he said...

"Safe Inside" Available for Pre-Order Now!

The book comes out officially on Eckhartz Press at the end of this month, but Lee Kingsmill's beautiful novel set in 1940s Chicago is now available for pre-order. Reserve your copy today!

Here's what the critics think of it...

“The best books expand our humanity by the vicarious experiences and opportunities for compassion they provide. Lee Kingsmill’s Safe Inside is just such a book. It’s rich and textured, filled with family dynamics, religion, sexuality, the refuge of the imagination, the sanctuary of movies, and most of all, the depth, truthfulness, and complexity of humanity.”
Michael Lister, New York Times Bestselling author of "Blood Work"

“This beautifully written and sensitive novel about growing up in Chicago in the 1940s and ’50s and falling in love with the movies is that rare thing, a story that totally recreates a vanished world. Every detail of both place and character is so closely observed and evocative that you feel like you are there. ”
Dan Callahan, associate editor of Simon Media Works and author of "Barbara Stanwyck: the Miracle Woman," and "Vanessa"

“The meticulous detail of Safe Inside leads us through the memories and emotions that take hold early and never let go.”
Walter J. Podrazik, Media historian and author

Lee Kingsmill grew up on the south side of Chicago. A stint in the army took him to pre-statehood Alaska where he served in the military police. After graduating from the University of Chicago, he taught high school English and humanities for thirty-four years. A highlight was accompanying student groups on Spring break trips to Italy. Since retirement, he continues to travel abroad, and much of Safe Inside was written in Mexico. He resides with his husband in Munster, Indiana. In his next life, he will have intimidating shoulders and only one left foot on the dance floor

FCC Intrigue

Why would the FCC approve changes to media ownership limits when nobody in America wants that? Tom Taylor's NOW column has the answer today...

Ajit Pai’s pre-Inauguration Day visit to David Smith at Sinclair’s D.C. offices is the jumping-off point for a major New York Times piece about how the new FCC Chair is reversing rules about TV ownership and operation. The story says “the Smith-Pai alliance does not follow the familiar script of a lobbyist with deep pockets influencing policy…Instead, it is a case of a powerful regulator and an industry giant sharing a political ideology and…having free rein to pursue it.” Smith has stayed deep in the background during Sinclair’s rise as a TV consolidator.

If it isn't lobbying money, it's politics. One thing for sure is that it's not what's best for the consumer. They honestly don't care what you think.

Complete Victory for Taylor Swift

Any one who saw the picture with the guy's hand clearly on her butt knew this day was coming, but yesterday a jury made it official. From Rolling Stone Magazine...

The jury in the Taylor Swift assault trial ruled in favor of the singer and her mother Monday, rejecting a radio DJ's claims that they unjustly had him fired from his job after allegedly groping the singer during a 2013 backstage meet-and-greet.

In addition to siding against David Mueller's $3 million lawsuit – or $250,000, as his lawyer compromised during closing arguments – the jury also ruled in favor of Swift's assault and battery countersuit, forcing Mueller to pay Swift a symbolic $1, CNN reports.

Following Swift's victory, the singer pledged to make donations to "multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves."

I feel a song coming...

10 Foods That Help You Poop

I don't know how this article got in my e-mail box, but I clicked on it.

Towards the end of his life my grandfather would come out of the bathroom with his arms raised in the air after a BM chanting "We Win! We Win! We Win!"

Not there yet myself, but feeling really conflicted about having clicked on that link.

Take that, Ted Nugent

Funny response from David Crosby to a question about Ted Nugent not making the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because of his politics...

Monday, August 14, 2017

BBC News Accidentally Shows Anna Paquin Nude

The link to view the pixalated version of this report is here.

It was on a TV in the background of a newsroom shot. I'm sure the producer/editor/writer watching it was doing it for research on a story.

RIP Joe Bologna

The actor/writer passed away at the age of 82.

I loved him in the role of King Kaiser (obviously portraying a thinly-veiled Sid Caesar) in the movie "My Favorite Year"...

Doin' The Cruise

On May 4, 1970, four Kent State University students were killed and nine injured when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire during a demonstration protesting the Vietnam War. One of the people on the scene that day was a young Mitch Michaels. His eye-witness account of the chaos and mayhem is chronicled in the pages of his upcoming book Doin' The Cruise: Memories from a Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll.

This isn't just a book about the rock and roll lifestyle Mitch clearly led. It's also about a generation, and the challenges they faced as they tried to change the world.

The book comes out in early September on Eckhartz Press. It's available for pre-order now.

The Taylor Swift Groping Case

While the judge dismissed the case against Taylor Swift after her impressive testimony, the case still isn't over. Tom Taylor's NOW column explains...

The Denver groping/firing suit isn’t over. Taylor Swift’s mom Andrea and former Keymarket VP/Programming Frank Bell are still targets of the suit brought by David Mueller. He claims that a complaint from the Swift camp brought him to a meeting with KYGO management – and then termination. Finding a job since then’s been almost impossible, and that led to the filing of the 2015 suit against one of the industry’s biggest stars. Frank Bell has known Swift since she was a small girl, having worked with her dad at a Pennsylvania station and helped her out along her path. When Keymarket eliminated its corporate VP/Programming position in late 2010, Frank was invited to join the Swift “13 Management team in Nashville as its radio liaison – proof that relationships can pay off. There’s another part of the Denver legal story that’s not over – Taylor Swift’s countersuit against Mueller is still active.

This is Evil

GoDaddy has stepped in and yanked the URL of the Daily Stormer (a Nazi site) after it wrote an article ripping the woman who was killed.
In the post, the founder of the site, Andrew Anglin, claimed Ms Heyer has been killed in a “road rage incident”. He also launched into a vitriolic tirade about her appearance, saying she was a “drain on society”.

“Despite feigned outrage by the media, most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness,” Mr Anglin, the site’s editor, said. “A 32-year-old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value.”
This is evil. There is no gray area here. The president won't denounce it, either. This morning he went after the black CEO who quit his advisory board because Trump didn't denounce the racists by name, but he still can't find the words to call out these white supremicists.

I'm afraid there's no other conclusion that can be made. The president is either one of them, or he lacks the courage to call them out because they support him.


LATE UPDATE: President Trump finally tried to clean this up today (72 hours later), but only after weirdly talking about the economy first. He did read the statement written for him without improvising, and in that statement he did call out the white supremacists by name. He met the lowest possible bar. But the White supremacists in his White House remain employed, and the White supremacists who protested know that he only made this statement because he was forced to do so.

Coverage of KKK/Neo-Nazi/Alt-Right Rally

I watched quite a bit of the coverage on Saturday, and Fox News was shameful. Dear Fox News: Black Lives Matter protests AGAINST racism. KKK/Nazis/Alt-right protests IN FAVOR OF racism.

They are not the same thing. Stop saying that.

You should really be ashamed of yourselves.

Saddest photo ever

Friday, August 11, 2017

Thank you WLS!

Dave and I had an incredible time hosting a show on WLS AM 890 this morning from 10am to Noon. Thanks to Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano for allowing us to fill in for them, and thanks also to the crew (especially Tony Lossano and Tyler Bravo) for making it easy for us. The highlight of the show for me had to be this interview with Denny Laine (Moody Blues, Wings), Neil Innes (Monty Python), and Mark Hudson (The Hudson Brothers). (Photo: L-R, Mark Hudson, Dave Stern, Denny Laine, Neil Innes, and me)

I was so excited I could barely contain myself. They were gracious and wonderful, and they performed "Cant Buy Me Love".

It wasn't until after the interview was over and the gentlemen had left the building that Dave pointed out to me that my fly was unzipped.

Another fun part of the day was being reunited on the air with our old pal Kathy Voltmer, who was our newscaster when we were on the air in Champaign-Urbana. Thirty years later, here we are again...

What in the world?

You'll never believe what I'm doing this morning.

Dave Stern and I have been asked to fill in for Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano on WLS-AM 890. We'll be on the air from 10am to Noon.

Tune in if you get a chance.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 61

EP61 – Rick and Dave discuss bra-sized discounts, sausage contents, bears driving cars, a Bionic Cub, and Rick’s brush with superjock Larry Lujack.

You can listen to it here.

Doin' the Cruise

"When I think of Lorelei my head turns all around. Gentle as a butterfly, she moves without a sound."
--Styx "Lorelei"

Those are the lyrics by Dennis DeYoung, but when I think of Lorelei, I think of the vintage Loop commercials that stirred a little something inside a certain rock and roll fan.

In his upcoming book "Doin' the Cruise: Memories From A Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll" Mitch Michaels (with Ken Churilla) writes about those incredibly heady days and what was happening behind the scenes, including Mitch's friendship with Lorelei--the face and "pow" of the Loop. The book is available for pre-order now at Eckhartz Press. It ships in September.

Eric Bolling Sues Reporter

Eric Bolling, the Fox News personality who was suspended for allegedly sending unwanted lewd photos to female colleagues, is suing the reporter who broke the story for defamation. How much is he seeking in damages? Oh, only $50 million.

What I think is strange is that he isn't suing the Huffington Post (which printed the story), only the reporter. Sounds like a classic case of trying to intimidate him or scare him because he doesn't have the funds to defend himself in court.

Our justice system has one giant flaming flaw. It doesn't judge right or wrong. That's usually irrelevant. The person with the most money almost always wins just because they can outlast the poorer person. Ask our current president. He used that technique over 3000 times.

Bruce on Broadway

I would LOVE to see this show. The RAMP Newsletter reports on it this morning...

Bruce Springsteen is indeed coming to Broadway this fall for an eight-week residency. In a complete 180 from his massive stadium gigs, these insanely intimate shows will be staged at The Walter Kerr Theater on West 48th Street, a venue that holds less than 1,000 people. "My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music," Springsteen said. "Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work."

In addition to his music, Springsteen will also be reading excerpts from his 2016 autobiography, Born to Run, and performing other spoken reminiscences written for the show. In a statement, Springsteen said, "I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the 960 seats of the Walter Kerr Theater is probably the smallest venue I've played in the last 40 years."

Springsteen on Broadway will run five nights a week, Tuesday to Saturday. The official opening is set for Oct. 12, and the run is planned through Nov. 26. Preview performances begin on Oct. 3. Ticket registration for Springsteen on Broadway is now underway and will close on Aug. 27. Lucky fans will be notified on Aug. 29, and the tickets, priced from $75 to $850, will go on sale the next day.

The groping picture

Yesterday I reported on the court case taking place in Denver. It involves an alleged groping of Taylor Swift which led to her allegedly getting the DJ who did it fired. He says he didn't grope her at all.

TMZ posted this picture of the Denver DJ (David Mueller) and Taylor Swift at their meet and greet photo shoot. Look at where his hand is.

Your honor, no further questions.

Trouble for Sinclair/Tribune merger?

Resistance to this deal, which is still not officially completed, is coming from some truly unexpected sources. Tom Taylor's NOW column reports...

DOJ issues a “second request” to Sinclair and its target Tribune. That for sure delays the process that would let TV titan Sinclair add 42 television licenses plus Chicago’s talk radio station WGN/720. You wonder if the increasing heat from all corners of the spectrum is being felt at the Department of Justice. Progressives started protesting the deal when it was announced. But now Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze co-signs an objection to the mega-merger along with the One America News Network. Conservative-leaning Newsmax doesn’t like the proposal that would make Baltimore-based Sinclair by far the largest TV station owner... Sinclair would own 220 TV stations and cover 72% of U.S. households – far exceeding the FCC’s historic 39% limit. Meanwhile at WGN radio, they’re prepping to move out of Tribune Tower – something that will happen regardless of who owns WGN.

I almost don't care why the DOJ or FCC is suddenly developing a conscience. If this pause makes people look at the merger more closely, I'm all for it.

Contreras to the DL

My favorite Cub this season, catcher Willson Contreras, pulled up lame trying to beat out an infield single. He did the universal "hamstring grab" about ten paces from first base. The Cubs will announce sometime today how badly he's injured, but it looks like he's out for the rest of this month.

Starting to feel like this whole World Champion thing is not going to be a permanent condition.

Mancow and Cheap Trick

I'm not a Mancow listener, but I am a fan of Cheap Trick...