Wednesday, January 27, 2021
This week we checked in with an old friend, former sportscaster Rich King. Lots of fun stories shared, including the time his tongue made him famous. Also, lots of White Sox talk for you Sox fans. https://t.co/Fpy7BDOujR— Rick Kaempfer (@RickKaempfer) January 27, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Robert Feder printed these today. If you want to see a breakdown of dayparts, click here.
1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 14.3 (9.5)
2. WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 8.0 (8.4)
3. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 6.8 (6.8)
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 4.3 (4.4)
5. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 3.9 (4.1)
6. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 3.8 (4.4)
7. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.7 (2.8)
8. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.3 (3.9)
9. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 2.9 (3.9)
10. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 2.6 (3.5)
11. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.5 (2.5)
12. (tie) WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.4 (2.1); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.4 (2.9)
14. WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 2.2 (2.3)
15. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.1 (2.6)
16. (tie) WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.0 (1.7); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.0 (2.2)
18. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.7 (2.2); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 1.7 (1.9)
20. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 1.6 (2.1); WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 1.6 (1.7); WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.6 (1.2); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 1.6 (1.8); WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.6 (1.8)
25. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.2 (1.0)
26. WCPT 820-AM progressive talk, 0.7 (0.9)
27. (tie) WCCQ 98.3-FM country, 0.6 (0.6); WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 0.6 (0.6); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 0.6 (0.7)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.5 (0.4); WGRB 1390-AM gospel, 0.5 (0.5)
Monday, January 25, 2021
By the end of the year, it will be no more. According to this article in the New York Times, that means things like the NHL and the English Premier League will move to USA Network and the Peacock streaming service. Ugh. That was one of my favorite channels.
The final total of certifyable, verifyable, fact-checked lies told by Donald Trump during his presidency: 30, 573.
That's an average of 20 a day or so, and Republicans had zero problems with that. They will be disregarded forever about any future claims of dishonesty. Just zip it.
One of the problems caused by doing a podcast with a friend who has known you nearly 40 years, is he knows all your darkest secrets. This week Dave tells an embarrassing story about one of my college breakups. Thanks a lot, partner. https://t.co/T1gntV5WlM— Rick Kaempfer (@RickKaempfer) January 25, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Everybody in broadcasting has a Larry King story. Here's mine...In the fall of 1993, America was debating the merits of NAFTA. One of the champions of NAFTA was former Vice President Al Gore, and the biggest opponent was Ross Perot. Larry King scored the coup of having the two men on his show to debate the issue on national television.
I scored the coup of getting Larry King to appear on the John Landecker show the day before the debate. He happened to be in Chicago promoting a book, and I booked him to appear in our studio--which I thought was a pretty big deal at the time.
When Larry arrived, I got a call from the front desk of the radio station. I immediately ran out to get him--and when he saw me, he handed me his overcoat and said "cream, no sugar." (Or something like that. I can't remember the exact coffee order--I just remember it was made without even saying hello.)
I brought him right into the studio, and took my usual place--sitting next to John. The interview was off to a pretty good start when I saw the face of our general manager through the glass in the newsroom. He looked incredibly ticked off, which truth be told, was his usual demeanor. He wiggled his finger toward me.
I thought I shouldn't get up and leave in the middle of the conversation because I was sitting between John and Larry, so I signaled with one finger that I would be there in a minute. I was going to wait until the commercial break.
Twenty seconds later, he came into the studio itself--which he had never done while the microphones were on, and gave me the same finger wiggle. This time both Larry and John saw him do it, and they were struggling to stay on topic. I had no choice but to get up, and when I got near him, he grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me into the hallway.
"What the f*** are you doing?" he screamed after the door closed behind us.
"What do you mean?" I asked, truly having no idea what he was talking about.
"Larry King?" he spat.
"Yeah, tomorrow night he's got..."
"I don't give a f*** if he's got Jesus F***** Christ on his show tomorrow night. It's after 8:30. We should be playing music right now."
I couldn't believe my ears. I looked at him, shook my head sadly, and walked back into the studio. I knew this dispute wasn't over, but I also knew John needed me in the studio, and this was too big of a deal to be wasting my time in the hallway explaining why. I figured it could be handled after the show. I didn't know our general manager well enough at the time to realize that wasn't going to be an option. (Keep in mind we had only been at the station for a few months when this occurred.)
Sure enough, Harvey wasn't going to just let this drop. This time he waited until the commercial break to come into the studio, but he walked in again. He was obviously pissed off.
"Rick, can I talk to you in the hallway again," he said through gritted teeth. He was trying his best to sound like he wasn't mad, but he was notoriously bad at doing so.
"Harvey," I said. "Have you met Larry King? You guys have something in common. You're both from Brooklyn."
"What part of Brooklyn?" Larry asked.
That started the conversation between these two guys--who were about the same age and from the same neighborhood, and within moments there were smiles all around--Harvey and Larry were laughing and reminiscing. When the commercial break was ending, John practically had to shoo Harvey out of the studio.
"You still need to talk to me in the hallway?" I asked.
Harvey waved me off. "Nah," he said. "We'll talk about it another time."
We never did.
That next night on CNN, Larry King got one of the biggest audiences of all time (a cable television record at the time), and made the front page of every newspaper in the country. Because we had a preview of that historic night on our little local Chicago radio station the day before, excerpts of our interview were quoted in both Chicago newspapers.
But we probably should have been playing "Build me up Buttercup" for the one thousandth time.
Friday, January 22, 2021
Another one of my childhood heroes is gone...https://www.dailyherald.com/sports/20210122/baseball-legend-hank-aaron-has-died-at-86. Met him once when I was an adult, and he was a terrific gentleman. Best interview I ever heard of him was conducted by my old pal Bill Holub on the Loop AM/FM.
The Hank Aaron cards I have in my collection are among my most treasured possessions...
You've probably heard the story about the Mets GM who was fired for sending explicit text messages, including one of his erect penis (nobody wants to see that, fella)
But did you know he worked for the Cubs when he did it. (Sigh) In 2016. (Sigh)
We really did sell our souls for the World Series, didn't we?
Thursday, January 21, 2021
This week's celebrity interview is with Breaking Bad's Carmen Serano. She has some great stories about that show, including a funny outtake with Bryan Cranston, and even better stories about her one-time movie co-star, the very odd Steven Seagal. https://t.co/QLAst8JWhG— Rick Kaempfer (@RickKaempfer) January 21, 2021
If he were still alive, today would be Wolfman Jack’s birthday. If you don’t remember the Wolfman, he was one of the most famous disc jockeys in radio history. In the 70s he starred in the film American Graffiti and hosted a weekly television show. He also filled in on WLS-Radio in Chicago. John Landecker mentioned that little episode in his Eckhartz Press book, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. We present this free excerpt for you today in honor of Wolfman Jack’s birthday…
Congratulations to our DOC @adamhowarth0627 and former IYSA Volunteer Of The Year Rick for the 100th episode of @fkadamandrick . Listen at the link below, on @Spotify, @ApplePodcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. https://t.co/lqdmYdSxR6 pic.twitter.com/dFm5IsNoNP— IL Youth Soccer (@ILYOUTHSOCCER) January 21, 2021
I never met him, but he was featured in our book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". John Landecker is quoted in Robert Feder's column below...
Marty Greenberg is being remembered by Chicago radio colleagues as an outstanding broadcast executive and a generous mentor. As vice president and general manager of WLS 890-AM from 1973 to 1979, he led a revitalization of the Top 40 powerhouse and restored its dominance in the format over WCFL. Greenberg, who was 79, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday at his home in McKinney, Texas. John Records Landecker called him “one of the finest GMs I ever worked with.” Among his early hires at WLS was a fledgling program director named John Gehron, who later would rise to general manager himself. “Marty was brought in to change the culture and I was lucky to be part of the team he put together,” Gehron recalled. Following his success at WLS Greenberg was promoted to president of ABC FM Stations and also held top jobs with Belo Broadcasting, Duffy Broadcasting, Genesis Broadcasting and Emmis Broadcasting.
I feel like I've taken a 200 pound shit.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) January 20, 2021
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Somehow we weathered and witnessed— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) January 20, 2021
A nation that isn't broken
but simply unfinished
There is always light
if only we're brave enough to see it
if only we're brave enough to be it.
— Amanda Gorman
Can I call him former President Trump yet? (Technically no, I'm writing this before noon)
President Trump has been impeached twice. He has been banned from all social media. He is a pariah with no friends, looming financial collapse, and potential criminal exposure. All of those things are bad.
But getting kicked out of SAG-AFTRA? That's gonna sting. Variety has the details.