Friday, March 15, 2013

Good Commercial

I thought this was very nicely done...

The Rising Cost of Tuition

Just what someone with three kids approaching college age wants to read: "Over the last 30 years, tuition has increased 1,120 percent; by comparison, even the "skyrocketing" cost of health care only rose 600 percent, and housing costs have gone up a paltry 375 percent."

I just did a Fred Sanford when I read that. I grabbed my heart, looked up at the sky, and said: "Elisabeth, I'm comin' to join ya'"

Beware The Ides of March

I always think of Chicago's very own Ides of March on March 15 (the Ides of March). Found this classic video of the band performing the song the year it came out (1970). The lead singer is Jim Peterik, who went on to write dozens of big hits for bands like Survivor, 38 Special, Night Ranger and more.

RAMP interviews JRL

The RAMP (Radio and Music Professionals) Newsletter also interviewed John Records Landecker. They published the following in this morning's edition...


John Landecker: On The Record

When your parents make the conscious decision to bestow upon you the highly significant middle name of Records, it's a good bet that your career destiny has been pre-determined. And in the case of legendary major market jock John Records Landecker, who currently works at WLS-FM/Chicago, that career is certainly an enviable one. Landecker's illustrious 40-plus-year profession includes some amazingly memorable moments, which, even more amazingly, he was able to remember! With the invaluable collaboration of his longtime producer-turned-author/publisher Rick Kaempfer, Landecker was able to finally coax these awesome stories out of his head and onto the printed (and digital) page in his forthcoming book, Records Truly Is My Middle Name.

RAMP asked Landecker how this ambitious project finally came about.

"There were three main factors at play," he told us. "1) I was out of work at the time, 2) people were urging me to do it, and 3) I realized that many of these stories were really unique and entertaining and needed to be shared." The book is packed with anecdotes about all of the famous people he's met, the stories behind his most famous bits and songs, rare photographs and additional tales from over thirty guest stars, including fellow radio legends Bob Sirott, Jonathon Brandmeier, Don Wade, Fred Winston, Joey Reynolds and others.

We also asked Landecker to share his "How I got into radio" story -- utilizing a personal connection, Landecker was able to wrangle his first radio station visit to WOIB-FM/Ann Arbor, MI. "My girlfriend's aunt was the 'Women's Editor' at the station and she arranged a meeting with the PD," Landecker says. "He was also the afternoon jock so we met in the studio." The PD handed a young Landecker some wire copy and had him practice reading it. He then announced that he had an aspiring young broadcaster in the studio and had Landecker read the copy on the air. "I guess he was suitably impressed, because he later hired me as the Saturday morning newsman. When that jock eventually left, I inherited the shift." The rest, as they say, is radio history.

Records Truly Is My Middle Name is available now for pre-order in trade paperback exclusively from Eckhartz Press. It officially ships on March 28 and will also be available on as an e-book.

Rick Kogan Leaving WBEZ

Robert Feder has the scoop about Chicago treasure Rick Kogan. He's taking a four week leave of absence to finish a book project. Reading between the lines, it certainly sounds like Rick wants WBEZ to get off their fannies and name a permanent host of the afternoon show. He's been doing it on an interim basis for months now.

I'd love to see Rick go back to WGN to reprise his Sunday Papers show. That show was the writer's best friend. I interviewed Rick about it for Chicago Radio Spotlight a few years ago.

By the way, Rick will be interviewing John Landecker during our big media push at the end of this month, but he'll be doing on the Chicago Tribune's new webcast.

Chris Hayes is Replacing Ed Schultz

This is a big deal in the cable news world. MSNBC is pushing out Big Ed Schultz (moving him to weekends), and moving weekend host Chris Hayes into Ed's slot.

Details are here.

Here's a little Chicago angle to this story that you might not realize. Chris is married to the daughter of former Channel 7 reporter Andy Shaw.

Twitter Doesn't Own the Hashtag

You can't copyright a letter or symbol on the keyboard. Sensing an opening, Facebook is pouncing. From this morning's Wall Street Journal...

"Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter's most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations, said people familiar with the matter."

And I believe there's not a thing that Twitter can do about it.

As Stocks Rise, So Does Number of Millionaires

From this morning's Washington Post...

"The stock market has roared back to record-high territory — and the number of U.S. millionaires is not far behind, according to a new report. The number of U.S. households worth $1 million or more, excluding the value of their homes, surged to nearly 9 million in 2012."

Wait a minute! I haven't checked my account in awhile. Hold on for a second...let me look...let's see, carry the one, and...Um, no.

That list still does not include me.

Radio Ink's Q&A with John Records Landecker

Radio Ink is a national trade publication. The editor in chief of the publication talked to John on the phone and asked him the kind of radio questions he more than likely won't be getting in other more traditional media venues. For instance, they asked...

Many people got into radio because they used to listen to people like you and Lujack and others. Do you think that can still happen in radio today?

At what point do you think the industry changed from being about the personalities, guys like you, names that made radio so strong?

If you could give somebody some advice that cracks the mic and goes on music radio today, what would you tell them?

John's answers to those questions can be found here at Radio Ink.

The Proud Publishers...

...hold their brand new book.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

JRL on Windy City Live

Scott Ginsburg Sues

My last few years at the Loop in the early 90s, the station was owned by Scott Ginsburg. I always wondered what happened to him after he cashed out.

Well, he's in the news today.

Scott Ginsburg is suing Georgetown University because they haven't named a building after him.

Some more press for "Records"

Robert Feder's column this morning...

"John Records Landecker kicks off the world tour to promote his new memoir with an appearance on ABC 7’s Windy City Live at 9am Thursday. You won’t believe the surprise they have planned for the Chicago radio legend. Reviewed here Wednesday, Records Truly Is My Middle Name is available for pre-order now at"

Tom Taylor's column this morning...

“Records Truly Is My Middle Name” is the forthright autobiography from John R. Landecker. TimeOut Chicago says “it’s a wonder the guy didn’t just burn out. If the alcohol, cocaine and other drugs didn’t kill him, then his four wives, all the other women in his life, or the maniacal managers he worked for probably could have.” Robert Feder says “happily for all of us, Landecker is alive and well at 65, and still on the radio.” He’s doing nights at Cumulus-owned classic hits WLS-FM (94.7), “occupying the same air shift and uttering the same call letters he did when he first took Chicago by storm in 1972.”


Dramatic last second win!

By the way, the students had a vote about whether or not to bring back the Chief. The Chief won by a margin of 4-1.

Details in the Daily Illini.

Landecker on Windy CIty Live

John Records Landecker was on Windy City Live this morning around 9:30. I was there with him to take pictures. (I'll have some more photos tomorrow)

The segment began with a very nice video intro, and then John talked to the WCL gang about his early days in the business. They talked about WLS in the 1970s, discussed the book, and then went to the phones. Who was the special surprise caller for John? None other than charming and delightful Uncle Lar.

Larry Lujack revealed his own middle name during the segment: “Frickin. Larry Frickin Lujack”

This is just the first stop of the “Records Truly Is My Middle Name” media tour, which really kicks off in earnest the last week of March. More details to come!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

John Records Landecker on TV


Tomorrow morning (March 14) between 9-10am, John Records Landecker will be appearing on the Chicago television show "Windy City Live" to talk about his brand new memoir (available for pre-order now) "Records Truly Is My Middle Name".

I know what they have planned for the segment, and all I can say is it will be Must See TV.

In Chicago "Windy City Live" airs on ABC, Channel 7.

Robert Feder Reviews "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

Wow. I just read Robert Feder's review of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" and I'm blown away by it. Thank you so much.

After working on a project for three years like John and I did, it's very rewarding to read a review of someone who appreciates our work, especially someone we respect as much as Robert Feder.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Back in 1922, Wells Street Bridge replacement suspended “L” service for just 3 days. How’d they manage that?

Time Out Chicago ‏@TimeOutChicago
.@RobertFeder: WGN may give morning news crew another hour to play

The New Yorker ‏@NewYorker
Adam Gopnik: "It has never been easier to be a writer; and it has never been harder to be a professional writer"

Slate ‏@Slate
It's official: Paul Ryan's plan to balance the budget is through class war on behalf of the rich: #plans

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin
Good news everyone, Dennis Rodman is on his way to the Vatican:

Dan Pompei ‏@danpompei
Here is the story of each of the Bears' primary free agents to be as the deadline for free agency approaches: …

kippermcgee ‏@kippermcgee
Talk Radio Managers: The saddest thing about selling out is just how cheaply most of us do it for. ~James Frost

Nicholas Kristof ‏@NickKristof
A photographer is forced to sell his camera to get by. Then an old Africa photo wins a prize & all changes

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
David Bowie's ex-wife is not impressed with his new album

Katie Nelson ‏@katienelson
Artist uses bare flesh to reimagine iconic paintings. @erikjhortiz reports:

Halle Berry

I don't blame Jay Leno for being distracted. Look where they had to tape her microphone. I understand they had a discussion of some kind. Can't say I heard a word of it. I was a little distracted myself.

Is Amazon Creating Used E-Books?

They applied for a patent to do exactly that.

What? Does it gall you, amazon, that the people who spent a year or more creating the e-book get to share a small percentage of your already ridiculously low prices? THAT'S TOO MUCH! Sell them used so the author gets zero cents.

I swear these guys are the devil. Has anyone ever checked them for horns?

Please explain the definition of a monopoly to me again. As publishers we have no choice but to deal with them. We can't do e-books ourselves. They own the technology. We are all sitting idly by while they crush everyone, and one day we'll wake up and say..."What happened?"

Johnny Kaempfer

15 years ago today...

Johnny Kaempfer was born.

Sheesh. 15 years. Slips

They've always been a little loosey-goosey with the truth (like those James O'Keefe videos), but this time they fell for a Daily Currant piece (an Onion-type publication) that reported Paul Krugman had to file for bankruptcy.

It could happen to anyone (I really mean that), but in this case they had just ripped the Washington Post a new one for doing the same thing. I suspect they won't respond anywhere near the way they DEMANDED the Washington Post respond when they fell for a fake Sarah Palin story.

I have a couple of issues with this whole thing. #1, it's bound to happen when you hate SO much. You just want the bad stories about your enemies to be true SO much, that you lose sight of the actual truth. And #2, maybe I'm starting to miss the whole purpose of the satire sites, but I thought satire was supposed to be funny.

Call me old school.

Is Elizabeth Hasselbeck Leaving "The View"?

That's been the rumor all week, but yesterday Barbara Walters announced they have no plans to get rid of Elisabeth.

And then US Weekly wrote a piece saying "Yuh huh. She's a goner."

Make up your own mind what you think is true.

Father Knows Nothing

This week's "Father Knows Nothing" is about my dog Ivy, and why everyone always assumes she's a boy.

You can read it here.

Monday, March 11, 2013

All Access Teases "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

All Access is a widely respected radio trade publication, and today they mentioned our little book...

Radio Recollections

CUMULUS Classic Hits WLS-F/CHICAGO night host JOHN RECORDS LANDECKER will release a memoir, Records Is Truly My Middle Name, on MARCH 28th via ECKHARTZ PRESS.

The book, written by LANDECKER with his longtime producer RICK KAEMPFER, will feature stories from LANDECKER's illustrious radio career, which included positions at WIBG/PHILADELPHIA, WJMK/CHICAGO, and -- most notably -- nights at WLS-A/CHICAGO during that station's Top 40 heyday.


LANDECKER will discuss the book, which can be pre-ordered here, and his career, in a 10 Questions interview on ALL ACCESS next week (3/19).
Sounds like a book worthy of pre-ordering! We'll post the interview when it's published next week.


I must admit, SNL has been really good this season. Justin Timberlake did a great job...

Obama The Stand-Up

Say what you want about the president, but he does have some good comedy writers working for him, and he can deliver a joke. Politico sums up some of the best ones from this weekend's Gridiron Dinner.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Nicholas Kristof ‏@NickKristof
If you're in Shanghai, look through the haze to see 2,800 dead pigs floating by in the river:

Harvard University ‏@Harvard
Throughout history, more women have died in childbirth than men have died in battle -

Scott Simon ‏@nprscottsimon
Playboy begins Hebrew-language edition in Israel. Is it kosher? Does the foldout open from right to left?

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller
Lamborghini has unveiled a new $4 million car. "I can't wait to buy it!" said the man w/ the world's smallest junk.

Bill Moyers ‏@BillMoyers
How politicians re-engineered our economic system to favor the wealthy, in timeline form:

Greg Sargent ‏@ThePlumLineGS
WSJ: Without govt job cuts Rs say are good for economy, unemployment rate would be 7.1%, not 7.7%:

Dina Bair ‏@DinaBairWGN
The Roman people say they would choose Cardinal O'Malley from Boston for Pope. Cardinals Conclave to vote tomrw

HowardKurtz ‏@HowardKurtz
Story also says Matt Lauer asked Katie Couric to return to Today show, and she was interested via @thedailybeast

ColonelTribune ‏@ColonelTribune
Excellent news, CTA commuters. The Wells Street Bridge has reopened, and trains are on schedule

Josh Liss ‏@JoshLissSports
Patrick Kane scores goals 13 & 14 for the Blackhawks, who get 2 days off (no practice) after losing their 2nd straight game, 6-5 to Oilers.

Funny Notes From Little Kids

Some of these are priceless.

My favorite one is from the kid who tells his dad he wants to be just like him...but not quite as hairy.

A Proof of the Book

I stopped by the WLS studios to give John a proof of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" on Friday evening. My ten year old son Sean took this picture with his camera, so it's a bit blurry, but I think you can see how excited John was...

A Cubs Mascot?

The Cubs are considering getting a live mascot. Sure hope Ronnie Woo Woo doesn't hear about this.

I also hope it's not a live bear. They tried that once before (in 1916) and it didn't work out so well.

Traffic Reports

You can bet this study is posted at Chicago's traffic outlets this morning. From Radio-Online...

"A four-year study of PPM data conducted by Research Director with the Canadian Traffic Network reveals that the misconception that listeners change the dial when traffic reports come on is the exact opposite. Research Director's study found that traffic reports actually garner higher listening levels compared to when traffic is not being broadcast."

If my wife is any indication, this is true. As for me, I didn't listen to traffic for the twenty years I was in radio because I was always preparing the next segment during the traffic reports. So now, even though I don't have a next segment to prepare, I really need to concentrate when traffic comes on because I have a Pavlovian response to it. It's the strangest thing.

Maybe it's just the beginning stages of dementia.