Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CWA Book Awards

The CWA posted a few photos from their Book of the Year award ceremony on Saturday night. Here are the ones that captured yours truly. In the second photo (with author Richard Reeder), he and I are actually making a book deal. Details will be announced soon...

239 pounds, my ass

RIP JoJo White

I always hated the Celtics, but I never hated JoJo White. He was one of my favs when I was a kid. I remember my dad pointing out that White was the only non-White on the Celtics in those days. Irony.

Installing this in Hawaii right now

John Fisher

My old colleague at the Loop, John Fisher, has been killin' it in Seattle for many years now. He just switched to a new station there. Radio Insight has the info...
Entercom’s recently launched Soft AC “94.1 The Sound” KSWD Seattle has appointed John Fisher as its new morning host starting January 22.

Fisher returns to Entercom after previously spending over two decades as morning host on AAA “103.7 The Mountain” KMTT from 1992 until the station flipped to Rhythmic Hot AC “Hot 103.7” in 2013. He most recently spent three years in various shifts at Hubbard AC “Warm 106.9” KWRM.

John was married to the woman who gave me my first break in the big time--Sandy Stahl. (She unfortunately passed away a few years ago.)

I've always respected John. He's the real deal. When I first began my Chicago Radio Spotlight blog back in 2007, John was the first person I interviewed. You can read that here. I wish him nothing but the best.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Jimmy Fallon Channels Jimmy Taylor


Andrew McCutcheon was traded by the Pirates to the Giants yesterday. This is what he tweeted upon hearing the news...

If Only Millennials Voted

There are now more voting-age Millennials than Baby Boomers. Here's what the last election would have looked like if only Millennial votes counted...


Not a fan of Fox and Friends, but I'm on their side on this one. From Radio Online...

"Fox & Friends" host and multiple sclerosis survivor Janice Dean, 47, told Moneyish about having her legs called disgusting in a Facebook comment recently that threw her off balance. The Fox News senior meteorologist was asked to "please stop allowing fox to dress you in those short skirts... Your [sic] an attractive lady but your legs are distracting every time you walk on screen."

She says the Facebook incident is not the first time Dean has been publicly shamed for her body. Before joining Fox over a decade ago, she worked with syndicated talk host Don Imus as a news editor. "On a daily basis, on and off air, he would comment that I was fat" or that they should hire a personal trainer, she says. "He brought in a trainer one time on-air and said, ‘Stand up. She needs to get rid of that... her hips and her butt.' I was just so ashamed. So ashamed."

"I live with an illness that could take away [my legs] at any moment," she tells Moneyish. Dean added that if she were to face Imus today, she'd tell him that he couldn't do that to her. "I've always been conscious about what body part I'd like to change, but I'm comfortable in that I know what I'm good at. I want to say to young girls ‘it's OK to be yourself, to show who you are.'"

Imus is such a good looking man, you can see how he feels superior. His eyebrows weigh approximately the same as Janice Dean's entire body.

That's a LOT of golfing

I love golfing. I would do it more if i could, but I'm busy. I'm a business owner, a free lance writer, and a soccer coach, so it's almost impossible to find days where I have five full hours of free time available. If all the stars align, I might get out twice this coming year, and that would make me very happy.

President Trump's schedule should make my schedule look like a piece of cake. How many times do you think he has golfed this past year? Would you believe 94 times? That's not a typo. He golfed 94 times. That's basically every three days. Retired people who live on golf courses golf less. Tiger Woods golfs less.

All presidents golf a lot. It's a stressful job, and they need to blow off steam. I get that. But before he became president, Trump tweeted 27 times bitching about Obama golfing because it infuriated him that Obama was golfing so much.

If Trump continues at his current pace, he will surpass Obama's total number of times on the golf course (over the full two terms), before the end of his first about the number of times I have golfed since becoming a father.

Monday, January 15, 2018

RIP Dolores O'Riordan

This is a shocker. The lead singer of the Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan, has passed away at the age of 46. The cause of death hasn't been released.


I post this song every year on Martin Luther King Day. It was put together by a DJ in Detroit named Tom Clay after the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, and it has a timeless message...

Willson's Advice to Jon Lester

My favorite moment from this weekend's Cubs convention...

Is it really OK to say "Shithole" on the air?

I'd say no, but then again, I heard it many many times over the past week. Tom Taylor's NOW column looks at the issue from an FCC perspective...

Language issues are back at the FCC – from the White House to “Saturday Night Live.” SNL host Sam Rockwell blurted out the gerund version of the f-word in an opening skit and immediately covered his mouth. That may’ve happened only in the East coast live feed (and in “safe harbor” time, after 10pm). But it’ll produce complaints to the FCC. Later in that same episode, “Weekend Update” host Colin Jost intentionally used the News-Cycle Word of the Week – the “s-hole” word reportedly uttered by the President in a meeting with Congressional leaders. That could also result in FCC complaints, since Jost’s comment may not fit under the “fleeting expletive” rule. Then there were all the news executives making judgment calls about whether to use the exact eight-letter word allegedly employed by Trump. NBC News anchor Lester Holt said it, once. His evening news counterparts at ABC and CBS didn’t. The AP reports that there are viewer complaints at the FCC already about both NBC and CNN – though the easy answer about CNN is that the FCC doesn’t regulate language on cable channels. Attorney David Oxenford blogs about the history of profanity over broadcast outlets. He says in the case of newscasts, “the FCC has said repeatedly that there is no blanket rule exempting news programming from its indecency rule.” Though the agency “has recognized that the decisions made about the language in newscasts are subject to a different level of First Amendment protection than language included in an entertainment program.” But as Oxenford cautions – “there no blank check, even in news reports.”


Look Who is In the News

This morning's Robert Feder column leads with this little tidbit...

It’s only the middle of January, but courtesy of President Donald Trump, we already may know the word of the year: “Shithole,” of course. A Chicago area publisher has secured the online domain and released a line of merchandise bearing the logo he designed featuring the Statue of Liberty. ( was already taken.) “Ultimately, I’d like to create a website that highlights the contributions of immigrants from those so-called shithole countries,” said David Stern, co-founder and publisher of Eckhartz Press. “Until then, all profits from any merchandise sold on [T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, tote bags, etc.] will be donated to charities that improve the lives of people in those areas.” Added Stern: “My parents emigrated from Berlin in 1949. I imagine there wasn’t a bigger ‘shithole’ on Earth back then.”

An upcoming project

We made it official this weekend. “Cubsessed” by Randy Richardson and Becky Sarwate will be coming out via Eckhartz Press on Opening Day. More details to come...

Fire and Fury on SNL

Out the Door

Award winning Eckhartz Press author M.L. Collins. Her book “Out the Door” was named CWA Book of the Year Saturday night. So proud of her! Happy to be there to see her receive the award and applause!

Who is M.L?
M.L. Collins has been in love with Door County ever since spending summers in Juddville with her grandparents who moved there in the 1930s after retiring from the circus.

M.L. has worked as a free-lance writer and lectured extensively on the history of sex, fashion and culture at various institutions in Chicago including the School of the Art Institute, the University of Chicago Graham School and most recently, Columbia College.

She divides her time between the big city of Chicago and a small town on the Door Peninsula in Wisconsin where she recently fell for a sailor named Smee.

What is "Out the Door" about?

A story about a little of everything: geology, sex, politics, the environment, prairie voles, cheese curds, casinos, aphrodisiacs, sturgeon, trilobites, gulls, Hat Island, bit of mystery – and much more!

You can get your copy at Eckhartz Press.

Another Creep Revealed?

This one doesn't sound quite as bad as the others, but it certainly appears to have crossed the line.

Comedian Aziz Ansari.

Friday, January 12, 2018


My Eckhartz Press partner David Stern spent his morning working on this...

Here's his facebook post about his work of art: I did buy Not sure what the hell I'm going to do with it, 'tho. I'll probably do what I always do and get real excited for a couple of hours, have lunch and forget about it.

Batman Anniversary

I loved, loved, loved Batman as a kid. I loved the colors, the evil villains, the batmobile, and the Boom-Pow-Oof fight scenes. Even as a very young boy I got the deadpan jokes and the ridiculousness. I literally saw every single episode.

I was just discussing this the other night with my boys who were wondering why I wasn't into superhero movies. I used to be. I think the turning point for me was when they lost that twinkle in the eye. When the Dark Knight actually got dark. I know it was more in line with the comic books, but I was never a comic book guy. I was a comedy guy...even as a very young boy.

Anyway, happy anniversary to the original Batman television show, which debuted on this day in 1966.

Rick as a Family Guy character

Thanks to "KC" for sending me this. This is her version of me as a Family Guy character. You can make one yourself at this website:

Story Being Shared By All Bear Fans

Bear attacks Packers Fan in Florida

Nobody died. Sometimes God just has a sense of humor.

Shithole Reaction

No need to go over the president's racist comments yesterday again. You know what he said. Here's a sampling of the reaction to those comments...

“The president was either misinformed or miseducated about Haiti and its people.”
Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Paul G. Altidor

"They say ignorance is bliss. Trump must be very happy."
--Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, Washington Post

"The fight for America’s future has begun, and the time for rationalizing Trump’s aberrant behavior is long past."
--Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman, MSNBC morning co-host

"These comments are further proof that his Make America Great Again Agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda.”
--Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus

"The president's comments were unkind, divisive, elitist, and fly in the face of our nation’s values. This behavior is unacceptable from the leader of our nation.”
--Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah)

“Oh, my God. Oh, my God Jesus. I don’t know how much worse it can get.”
--Alix Desulme, a city council member in North Miami, home to thousands of Haitian Americans

“This is like throwing gasoline to the fire. It’s not consistent with what the behavior of a president should be.”
--Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.

"We’ve been cautious — with reason — when it comes to accusations of racism and white nationalism. But can we now finally admit that our president is a white supremacist and move on? We’ve wallowed in this excrement long enough."
--Christine Emba, opinion columnist and editor, Washington Post

"This is straight up racist"
--Daily Beast editor in chief Jon Avlon.

"If you laughed, or if you smiled, or if you nodded your head in agreement, you will be remembered just as Trump will: as a racist, a fool and an absolute embarrassment."
--Rex Hupke, Chicago Tribune columnist

"Lady Liberty, our founding fathers, and generations of right-thinking Americans are all weeping tonight over the atrocious comments attributed to Donald Trump, who continues to demonstrate daily that he is a deeply flawed person."
--Former CIA Director John Brennan

"The definition of a racist — the textbook definition, as Paul Ryan might say — is someone who treats some people better than others because of their race. Trump fits that definition many times over:"
--David Leonhardt, columnist New York Times

“I’ve known him for 30 years. I know him well and like him and admire him, but this is a new low. The language, the racial implications are reprehensible and he deserves the criticism he’s going to get.”
--Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano

“He’s trying to win me back.”
--Conservative author Ann Coulter

"El Salvador is, in fact, a 'shithole.'"
--Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson

"This is how the forgotten men and women in America talk at the bar. This is how Trump relates to people.”
--Fox News commentator Jesse Waters

Seriously, those last three are real. Flat out defending racism.

The last word goes to the Pope...

Trib/Sinclair Merger Paused Again

From this morning's Tom Taylor NOW column...

Tribune’s planned sale to Sinclair is paused – again – at the FCC. First there was a 15-day pause in the 180-day “shot-clock” review period at the agency. The latest pause is reported by Bloomberg, which says the delay allows “time for the companies to arrange for the sale of some TV stations, to bring the $3.9 billion deal in line with broadcast ownership limits.” Sinclair’s trying to make its best case to the Commission, and if it needs to divest some stations, it will do that. One reported suitor? Rupert Murdoch of 21st Century Fox. Tribune owns 42 TV stations – plus the Chicago talk radio station WGN/720.

They can keep on pausing forever as far as Chicago viewers are concerned.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Minutia Men, Episode 79

EP79 – Rick and Dave discuss chipped nipples, Trump’s combover, Snoop Dog: Marketing genius, Just One Bad Century roulette, and Rick’s brush with John Wayne Bobbitt.

Listen to it here.

Annotated Obit

Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen ("Truffle Hunt") has a piece on his blog today that you might enjoy. What if obituaries were annotated?

This is an example of how they would read.

A Political Sex Scandal

This one involves the governor of Missouri, a light bondage session with his hair stylist, a secret audio recording, a nude photograph, and a threat of blackmail...except the governor was the one who was threatening to blackmail the hair stylist. Oh, and he was married at the time (and still is). Read the sordid details here.

More Creeps Revealed

Two more harassers...both ends of the political spectrum.

Washington Post journalist Joel Achenbach

Fox News reporter James Rosen

World Cup Show

Fox Sports will be streaming a thirty minute show every day during the World Cup this coming summer. They will also be doing a show on Snapchat.

Details are here.

Fleetwood Mac Tribute

Talk about a star studded affair! The RAMP Newsletter has the details...

Imagine Dragons, Juanes, Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus and Portugal. The Man will join the performance lineup at the 2018 MusiCares® Person of the Year tribute concert honoring Fleetwood Mac on Jan. 26 in New York.

They join previously announced performers HAIM, Lorde, OneRepublic, Harry Styles and Keith Urban. Grammy winners Fleetwood Mac will close out the evening's performances and former President Bill Clinton will present the band with their prestigious award. Three-time Grammy-winning producer Don Was will be the evening's musical director and more performers will be announced soon.

Fleetwood Mac becomes the first band to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year and will be celebrated for their extraordinary creative accomplishments and significant charitable work. Proceeds from the annual Person of the Year tribute -- now in its 28th year -- provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.

The 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute will feature a star-studded concert, award presentation, and live auction, followed by the official Person of the Year after-party celebration, and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at Grammy Week culminates with the 60th Annual Grammy Awards® at New York's Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28.

Reality TV Show Costs Him Two Jobs

He went by the name "Crazy Ray" on the radio, and Crazy Ray was a self-proclaimed racist and woman hater. He worked at 100.7 WRXQ-FM in Coal City and seemingly wasn't in trouble at his radio station, despite his "character" talking like that on the radio.

It wasn't until a CNBC show came to profile his day job, and broadcast some of Ray's views nationwide that his station got rid of him. It also cost him his day job.

You can read the story here, and see the promo of the show "The Profit".

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Change in the Cubs Radio Booth

This is a surprise. Mark Grote (Cubs) and Zach Zaidman (Bears) are switching jobs this upcoming season. Grote will cover the Bears, and Zaidman will now do pre and post game for the Cubs.

Grote announced the news today via Twitter...

RIP Milt Rosenberg

Milt was a legend because of his many many years at WGN Radio. Robert Feder has the details about his passing.

I met Milt about a half dozen times over the years and found him to be a gentleman. He had been a student of John Landecker's father Werner (a sociologist at University of Michigan) and we talked about that. I also tried to talk Milt into doing an interview with me about his career, and he finally agreed after repeated badgering. On the eve of the interview he called me up and said: "I can't do it. It just wouldn't be right. It's not about me, it's about the work."

When I asked him if we could do an interview about the work, he laughed and said, "Hopefully it speaks for itself."

You know what? It did.

RIP Milt.

CWA Book Awards

For the second year in a row I'll be cheering on an Eckhartz Press winner of the CWA Book of the Year award. Congrats to M.L. Collins for "Out the Door". The awards will be presented at The Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., at 7:00 pm on Saturday night.

Come on out if you're in the area. We will be celebrating.

Swimming with Sharks

Anthony Rizzo doesn't believe he's going to need a bigger boat. Just sayin, Chief Brody.*

*Reference to 1975 film "Jaws". Gotta explain my old man references these days.

Bannon out at Breitbart

It's been a pretty bad couple of weeks for former White House political advisor Steve Bannon. After getting fired by the White House, he helped his party lose an unlosable Senate seat in Alabama. Then he was he was quoted extensively (and apparently accurately--he doesn't dispute any of the quotes) in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury" and those quotes were reeeeeeeally mean about Trump and his family. That led to being ex-communicated by Trump, which led to his billionaire financial backers dropping him, which led to him being forced out at his job at Breitbart. (That was announced yesterday)

I'm worried he's going to let himself go.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Alabama Wins Again

I have no idea why, but I found myself rooting for Alabama last night. This Georgia fan did not...

Home Run Derby Anniversary

On this day in 1960, the television show "Home Run Derby" debuted. In the first episode it was Mickey Mantle versus Willie Mays.

I was a little too young for this show (born in 1963), but I watched the reruns on the Armed Forces Network when I lived in Germany. (They showed nothing but old shows). I thought it was the coolest show ever when I was in my pre-teens.

A Fun New Years Resolution

I didn't make a New Years resolution this year. Just coming to grips with my middle-aged fat-piece-of-crapness will have to do.

But a dad in Kansas City came up with a cool one.

He vows to play catch every single day in 2018. Read his story here.

Greta Leaves Fox News

Politico has the details about why Greta Van Sustern abrubtly signed off Fox News at the end of last week...

"On Thursday night, I made my decision and informed Fox News of my decision that I was leaving Fox News Channel per my contract," Van Susteren wrote on her Facebook page Tuesday. "Fox has not felt like home to me for a few years and I took advantage of the clause in my contract which allows me to leave now. The clause had a time limitation, meaning I could not wait."

Brit Hume will take over her 6pm timeslot.

Pink & JT

The National Anthem singer for the Super Bowl and the halftime entertainment have both been announced. Via the RAMP Newsletter...
The NFL and NBC announced that RCA superstar P!nk will perform the National Anthem as part of the Super Bowl LII pregame festivities on Sunday, February 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The performance will be televised live on NBC prior to kickoff. Oh, and make sure you don't wander too far away at halftime, as P!nk's labelmate Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi halftime show.

Pink joins an elite group of artists who have performed the Anthem on the massive worldwide platform of the Super Bowl stage, including Luke Bryan, Lady Gaga, Idina Menzel, Renée Fleming, Alicia Keys, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Neil Diamond, Harry Connick, Jr., Garth Brooks, Natalie Cole, Vanessa Williams, Luther Vandross, Cher, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera... and who could forget Whitney Houston's timeless 1991 rendition,

Chicago Radio Synergy

Chicago radio is leading the way again with another 40-station radio advertising gambit. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Today at 4:29 Chicago time, another market-wide roadblock by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland. This time it’s a one-minute interview with a very happy radio user of more than 30 years. Roy Spencer’s the owner of Perma-Seal Basement Systems (think severe Chicago Winters and then the Spring thaw). He’ll be heard across more than 40 Chicago-area stations in a coordinated pro-radio campaign. Matt Scarano chairs the RBC Committee of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, and he says “Perma-Seal is a terrific partner of the Chicago radio industry.” Last year the Chicagoland group did something similar with leaders of local auto dealer groups and also the CEO of Wintrust Financial. RBC also did roadblock fundraisers for the American Red Cross – and a 30-minute live “Radio Town Hall” with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. For those in other markets – these events cost very little money to produce and always seem to generate attention. Dennis Lyle is president/CEO of the IBA.