Friday, November 16, 2018

27 years

27 years of marriage.

This photo was taken on our 10th anniversary--can it really be 17 years ago?

Free Kicks, Episode 23

EP23: Adam and Rick discuss Week 12 of the Premier League season, Adam explains a foreign tradition and Rick pays tribute to two new broadcasting adjectives. This week’s quiz is about Tottenham Hotspurs.

Listen to it here.

Thursday, November 15, 2018


This is a great commercial...

Q&A with "Death of the Angels" author Alex Burkholder

"Death of the Angels" tells the tale of one of Chicago's most tragic events--the fire that took the lives of so many children at the Our Lady of the Angels school in 1958. Those that have been touched by this tragedy were altered forever. Former reporter (WGN, WLS) Alex Burkholder has been interviewing people that were there that day for the past several decades. He finally put this all together into a book form. It will be released on December 1st--the 60th anniversary of the fire.

We recently got a chance to catch up with Alex and talk to him about the book...

EP: Alex, you have a long and distinguished journalism background. Where and when did you work in Chicago?

Alex: Born and raised in Chicago. In 1962 while still at Northwestern University worked for Lerner Newspapers (Skokie Life) covering various village board meetings. 1963 to WGN Radio and TV. 1984 moved to ABC7 with John Drury. Retired in 2008 after a total of 46 years.

EP: You've obviously taken that journalistic approach to this book. What was it about this fire that initially captured your imagination?

Alex: Just hearing the terrible stories that day as a high school senior and fire buff I wanted to know more about the tragedy and curiosity increased over the years.

EP: A lot of the interviews were conducted many years ago. How long have you been working on this project?

Alex: There was a great deal accomplished with the interviews done in the 1970s. I've collected more information over the ensuing years and decided in the summer of 2017 that it was time to give the public a fresh look at something that never should have happened.

EP: Is there anyone involved in the fire that you wish you could have interviewed but didn't?

Alex: Two people: 18th Battalion Chief Miles Devine for more information about his first minutes on the scene of the fire, and Family Court Judge Alfred Cilella, who in 1962 ignored evidence the fire might have been set. Cilella died of a heart attack in 1964.

EP: The book does a great job of painting a picture of what happened that day--complete with room maps, photographs, and interviews with survivors. Did you have a hard time tracking all of this information down?

Alex: No, there was a lot of information out there including new revelations from those interviews and excellent photos from the newspapers and the Chicago Fire Department.

EP: What do you think is the lesson to learn from this tragic event?

Alex: Don't ignore fire hazards, correct them immediately. If fire doors had been placed on the east end of the school's second-floor hallway we would not be doing this today.

Radio Hall of Fame

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Tonight, the National Radio Hall of Fame inducts its distinguished Class of 2018: Kid Kelly, host of the Westwood One-syndicated Backtrax USA with Kid Kelly, on-air personality and programmer, SiriusXM Hits 1; Mark Levin, host of the Westwood One-syndicated The Mark Levin Show; Jonathon Brandmeier, The Jonathon Brandmeier Show, Chicago; Jim Kerr, host of The Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show, WAXQ (Q104.3)/New York; Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, Mike & Mike, ESPN Radio and Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Dr. Laura, SiriusXM. Other inductees include Nanci Donnellan, The Fabulous Sports Babe; Mike Francesa, WFAN/New York; Joan Hamburg, host of The Joan Hamburg Show on WABC/New York, and consultant-to-the-stars Fred Jacobs. This 30th Anniversary event will be hosted by Scott Shannon and takes place at Guastavino's in midtown Manhattan.

Most of this year's inductees have Chicago ties. Obviously, Johnny B is the most famous, but Mark Levin airs on WLS, Jim Kerr was on WLS during the music radio days, Mike & Mike aired on ESPN in Chicago for a long time (and Mike Greenberg also worked at the Score), Dr. Laura aired on WLS in the late 80s/early 90s, the Fabulous Sports Babe worked on AM 1000, and Scott Shannon ran the Real Oldies network in Chicago on 94.7FM.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Liberty's Torch

This is something cool that I've never seen before...

Supporters by State

Most & Least Trusted News

This survey was taken by Morning Consult and the Hollywood Reporter...

CNN Sues the White House

This is how crazy it has gotten between CNN and the White House. The cable news giant is suing the White House to reclaim Jim Acosta's press credentials. Details are here.

I personally think Acosta's a bit of a dick, but he is no worse than some of the others who have covered the White House over the years, and none of them have ever been punished like this. Certainly the reasons given by the White House for revoking his pass are pure BS.

I suspect this will be resolved pretty soon.

Fred Winston

Fans of WLS great Fred Winston take note! From Robert Feder's column this morning...

Forty-seven years after he first went on the air in Chicago, radio legend Fred Winston is getting behind a microphone again. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Friday, he’ll be a guest on Fred Lange’s “All Over the Planet” on Radio Harbor Country WRHZ 93.5-FM and WRHC 106.7-FM in Three Oaks, Michigan. (It streams at Winston, who now lives on a farm in Michigan, says he’ll tell stories about famous recording artists he met during his years at former Top 40 powerhouse WLS 890-AM, where he started in 1971. “I haven’t been on the air in any shape or form for awhile, so I’m really looking forward to dusting off the cobwebs and firing up the bilge pump,” he added.

Our Latest Charitable Endeavor

Eckhartz Press is thrilled to team up with childrens book author Tom Latourette to help kids fighting cancer. Tom has all the details below...

Hello! I'm Tom Latourette, I'm a Children's Book author and co-founder of the BTB Foundation. Last year, at the tender, young age of 53, I followed a life-long dream and saw my first Children's Book - "I Had a Runny Nose", published by Eckhartz Press. The cool thing is that we were able to have 100% of the proceeds from that book go to support local families fighting cancer.

Now I'm asking for your help to up the ante and make an even bigger impact on families, especially kids! I'd like to enlist you to powerfully launch my 2nd Children's book - "I Had An Upset Stomach" (you can see the trend) by getting it into the hands of children fighting cancer or the children whose parents or siblings are suffering. I'm also hoping to give those families some relief by offering them a creative respite from their battle!

We've combined the power of 3 foundations I'm involved with and have created a cool and unique program. We're hoping, with your help, that we can bring thousands of kids laughter, smiles and creativity while they're fighting this horrible disease.


For my new book, I've teamed up with an incredibly talented artist, Ben Olson, who runs the Chicago Chapter of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity through his non-profit the backyard EXPERIENCE. Ben and I are looking to expand the reach of our 3 foundations by combining

*My new book,
*The art therapy of Sally's Studio
*AND Ben's the backyard EXPERIENCE foundation / Chuck Jones Center for Creativity Chicagoland Acme Creative Cart

Then, we're bringing this trinity to the kids and families fighting cancer at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Swedish Covenant, Amita Healthcare in Hoffman Estates and other Chicagoland hospitals.

What We Need & What You Get
In order to get this program off the ground and get the best pricing for books and art boxes we're looking for some pre-order help and funding commitments from our supporters!

*If you help us, we've created some cool ways for you to get in on the fun and giving!

*Buy a book and give a book to kids fighting cancer!

*We'll acknowledge your generosity inside each book!

*Each book funded will also fund a daily art experience for a child or family member battling this disease!

*You'll also have a chance to get your hands on one of Ben's custom, limited edition lithographs!

The Impact You'll Make!
Your donation will bring smiles and laughter while igniting the passions and creativity of children battling cancer. The benefits of art therapy are numerous and can make a HUGE difference in a kids' struggle. Please help us get these tools in front of thousands of kids and Chicagoland families!

Click here to participate, and thanks in advance for your help.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Felix's Anniversary

Fox News Protesting Twitter

Fox News is upset that Twitter didn't more pro-actively protect Tucker Carlson when he was attacked (although the police report doesn't match up with what Tucker has been claiming). So, they are currently refusing to Tweet and instructing their people not to Tweet. TV Newser has the details. It's an informal protest.

I personally think it can't be effective unless they do it permanently. Seriously. No other way to make your point. Silence. Please. Forever. That'll show 'em.

New WLS lineup possibilities

Conservative wonderboy Ben Shapiro is slated to take over afternoons for Steve Dahl on WLS, according to today's Robert Feder column, but only the 2-5pm slot. The rest of the moves will probably be as follows...

WLS did not announce a replacement for the 5 p.m. hour of Dahl’s show, but insiders said one scenario would be to move morning host Big John Howell to a two-hour slot from 5 to 7 p.m. Howell’s morning co-host, Ramblin Ray Stevens, is expected to leave. Morning news anchor John Dempsey will continue.

Erich Mancow Muller is said to be in line to host mornings, but no agreement has been finalized. It would be a return to WLS for Muller, who co-hosted middays with Pat Cassidy from 2008 to 2010. Muller most recently hosted mornings for Cumulus Media on the former WLUP (aka The Loop) before it was sold in March.

Sounds like it will be 100% conservative talk now. Time to take it off the pre-sets.

Next Summer

If this is as good as the first three, it will be great. My kids aren't even little anymore, and I still plan on seeing it...

Monday, November 12, 2018

Mix Fires PD

This is a shocker.

Mary Ellen Kachinske was fired by the Mix, effective immediately. There must be a non-ratings reason for this move, otherwise it makes no sense at all.

Shot out of a cannon

This kid is amazing. I think he was out, but whoo boy...

Dahl, the Next Generation

Congrats to Pat & Matt Dahl, winners of Emmy Awards over the weekend. I used to babysit these boys (and their brother Michael) when they came to the studio to visit their dad...

Fans of a certain age still remember how radio renegades Steve Dahl and Garry Meier shocked the media establishment when they won a Chicago Emmy Award for “Greetings from Graceland,” their 1981 special about Elvis Presley. Thirty-seven years later, the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored two of Dahl’s sons for their TV work. At Saturday’s 60th annual regional Emmys, Pat Dahl, founder and vice president of Banner Collective, won for a Wintrust Bank commercial. Matt Dahl, former manager of digital video for the Chicago White Sox, won for “Night Before Soxmas.” (Matt now works as a firefighter in Mount Prospect.) “Consider me one proud dad (and PR department),” their famous father wrote. “They have great talent and wonderful wives!”


This was an important moment on Saturday night...


Bears Kicker

I have a new career suggestion for Bears kicker Cody Parkey: Top 40 disc jockey.

Why? He always hits the post.*

Don't look now, the Bears are in first place and they're actually good this year. Going into the depths of my closet to relocate all of my Bears gear.

*I admit, I stole that joke from Eddie Volkman.

Coming Soon

On Eckhartz Press...

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Minutia Men, Episode 115

EP115: Rick and Dave discuss Jenkins drinking on the job, ageism, expensing stripper bills, Rick’s brush with race car driver Dick Trickle, and they interview the voice of Siri. Seriously. The voice of Siri.

Listen to it here.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Cameo Review

Marssie Mancotti from Windy City Reviews posted this review of "Cameo" by Beth Jacobellis (Eckhartz Press, pick up your copy here)

Just out of college and not knowing what comes next, Samantha Ricks visits a psychic, Ingrid, in hopes of obtaining a little guidance regarding the uncertain world ahead. The message is a little confusing at first, but a tragic incident from the past seems to be affecting Samantha’s present. All the signs point to a happy future, but there are adventures ahead for Samantha before she can realize her potential.

Cameo, by Beth Jacobellis, is an interweaving of the past, its impact on the present, and how our feelings can get in the way of understanding what is pulling us through to the future. The book begins in the present, but we are quickly transported to the cameo’s present life in 1994 and then again through vignettes from 1885, 1976 and 1989.

Every chapter of Cameo begins with a detailed, grey-tone cameo repeated from the cover art, letting the reader know that the energy of this talisman is what will drive it through to conclusion. This is a nice round visual and thematic device that is particularly satisfying. It also begins the story by engaging us in Samantha’s life right away. The psychic elements are treated in a humorous and sensible way. For instance, Samantha is not intrigued by the decrepit and dusty home of pink-sequined Ingrid, the psychic. She remains skeptical until she gets a straight answer to her question about marriage and children. She’s going to get her money’s worth despite any possibly misleading clues. She remains levelheaded even when experiencing the vision of her departed brother and is actually comforted by seeing him looking at her from behind a tree.

As a contemporary woman, Samantha is not afraid of competing in a former “man’s world” of radio sales. Through an introduction, she presents herself to the general sales manager of the station as a job candidate. She’s quickly hired and thrown into the sales pit, but she’s a smart woman and lets the childish banter and silly advances of her colleagues roll off her back. Jacobellis keeps the story rooted in reality with the ride shares, fancy awards parties, and business lunches that are such a part of the radio scene. We see Samantha’s hard work pay off in a good sales list and a rosy financial future.

We admire her strength, but there are things stronger than Samantha, like the resolution of past wrongs. Samantha ponders her personal past, trying to make sense of the guilt she feels over her brother’s passing. The “cameo” was a gift her brother had chosen for her, and it seems to be her personal talisman as she stumbles through her young life. Ghosts from the distant past also make cameo appearances.

Samantha keeps reaching back for answers, but there are parts of the cameo’s history that she will not know but can only experience. She’s not aware of just how far back the trail unwinds, but, where love is unresolved, Jacobellis allows no statute of limitations. All wrongs must be put right.

Cameo is a charming story to read. It is not a long book, but this type of love story, with layers of the past all playing out at the same time, draws us into Samantha’s quest and carries us through a briskly-paced read. I enjoyed this book for its clear storytelling and mysterious overtones. I also found it refreshing that the past is not always looking to punish but merely to resolve. Although tragic events do occur in this novella that may have their own story to tell, all Jacobellis is telling us is Samantha’s story and why some of the things that are happening to her seem to be terrible but are ultimately leading her to a future that has the promise of happiness.

Javy Wins Silver Slugger Award

Got this in my e-mail box this morning from the Cubs. Congrats to Javy!

Chicago Cubs second baseman Javier Báez tonight won his first-career National League Silver Slugger Award. Báez is one of only two second basemen in franchise history to win this award, joining seven-time winner Ryne Sandberg (1984-85, 1988-92).

In 2018, Báez batted .290 (176-for-606) with 101 runs scored, 40 doubles, nine triples, 34 home runs and an NL-leading 111 RBI, setting career highs in all six categories. He also turned in a .326 on-base percentage, a .554 slugging percentage and an .881 OPS, all career bests as well. Báez became the first player in major league history to reach 40 doubles, nine triples, 34 homers, 111 RBI and 21 stolen bases within a single season.

WLS Speculation

Robert Feder speculates in his column today about the potential new lineup of WLS Radio...

We’ll soon be hearing more of Ben Shapiro on WLS 890-AM, according to insiders. The editor-in-chief of and conservative commentator, whose hourlong podcast now airs at 9 p.m. weekdays, is expected to host a syndicated afternoon show on the Cumulus Media news/talk station. Starting early in the new year, sources said, he’ll replace afternoon star Steve Dahl, whose last show on WLS airs December 21. Confirmation of the deal could come Monday when Shapiro originates his podcast from WLS studios in Chicago. There’s also word that Erich Mancow Muller may be in line to host mornings on WLS, shifting Big John Howell to another role at the station. Muller, who paired with Pat Cassidy in middays on WLS from 2008 to 2010, most recently hosted mornings on the former WLUP (aka The Loop) before it was sold in March. Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, declined to comment on any personnel moves.

Another New Author

Another satisfied author with the first copy of his book “Death of the Angels” about one of the most tragic events in Chicago history, the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school. The 60th anniversary of the fire is December 1. The book is available for pre order now. Congrats to Alex Burkholder.