Friday, April 05, 2013

I'm Goin' Back to Indiana

You have two chances to meet John Records Landecker this weekend in Northwest Indiana.

John Records Landecker will be on WEFM in Michigan City Indiana on Saturday April 6th as part of a remote broadcast from a locally famous hot dog joint–Top Dog. The interview will last from 9am until noon and copies of the book will be available for purchase there. John will be happy to sign copies of the book. (Top Dog is located at 701 Washington Street)

On Sunday April 7th, John Landecker will be signing copies of his book “Records Truly Is My Middle Name” at Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill and Tavern in Beverly Shores from 12-3pm. (Bartlett’s is located at 131 E. Dunes Hwy). Thanks so much to Shore Magazine and the Northwest Indiana Times for their help in promoting this event. (The NWI Times even printed an excerpt from the book in their newspaper today!)

For directions to either event, click on the Eckhartz Press calendar, and go to that particular day’s event listing. Google Maps will guide you to the signings.

(I’ll be there too, and I'm bringing my two oldest boys and making them work!)

Behind the Scenes at WLS-AM 890 with Roe Conn, Richard Roeper, and John Records Landecker

John was scheduled to be a guest on Roe & Roeper's show last week, but Roe was sick so we rescheduled for this week. I took the train downtown to meet John at the studio, but he called me on the way to tell me: "Roger Ebert just died. Better call to make sure they don't want to reschedule."

It made sense. Roeper worked with Ebert for years, and the death of his long-time colleague was national news, so I called Roe & Roeper's producer Mallory and she said..."The interview is still on. They are beyond excited about talking to John. They LOVE the book."

When I arrived, I saw the mayhem first hand. Every single television station in Chicago had a crew there waiting to speak with Roeper, and at first, they didn't really know who I was or why I was there, but when Landecker arrived he pulled me through the throng. We took the elevator to the WLS studios. John was in a hurry because he wanted to talk to the guest who was on the air before our slot--it was comedian Jeff Garlin. Garlin is friends with John's daughter Amy.

We sort of barged our way into the studios during a commercial break, and John greeted Jeff. They exchanged pleasantries about Amy, and Jeff said, "You know, your poor daughter. Every time someone from Chicago meets her, they always, and I mean always say...You're John Landecker's daughter, aren't you? This great actress has to hear that!"

John nodded sadly. "I know."

Jeff asked John, "So why are you here?"

"I have a new book out," John replied.

"You F*****!" Jeff said with a smile.

After Jeff left, and John was brought in, Roe immediately began talking about how much he loved the book. He couldn't have recommended it in stronger terms. Roeper weighed in to agree. They talked about Roger Ebert too (John was friends with him as well), and radio in the 70s, and it was actually a great interview.

During the commercial break, Roeper ran out into the lobby and did a few television interviews about Roger, and then ran back into the studio to complete the interview with Landecker.

We were only there about 45 minutes, but it was a pretty exciting 45 minutes.

The audio of the interview is here.

A Touching Tribute to Roger Ebert

Robert Feder was Ebert's long-time colleague and friend. His column today is a beautiful tribute to Roger.

You know, Feder doesn't often get credit for this, but he's more than a reporter. He's a great writer.

A Statement From Chaz Ebert

The Sun-Times has this today. Here's the full statement.

Here's a small taste of it...

"I am devastated by the loss of my love, Roger -- my husband, my friend, my confidante and oh-so-brilliant partner of over 20 years. He fought a courageous fight. I've lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world. We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other."

Radio's Wake Up Call

This news comes from the trade publication Inside Radio...

"Smartphones give radio a wake-up call. When it comes to which technology people use to wake themselves up in the morning, the clock radio is going the way of the 8-track tape. Twice as many Americans wake up to their cell phone (30%) than to a clock radio (15%), according to Edison Research and Arbitron."

The world is changing fast and radio is in real danger if they don't figure that out.

A free excerpt from "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" (Roger Ebert memories)

There are several stories about Roger Ebert in "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". This one occurs on page 230...


The king of the movie reviewers is Roger Ebert. In addition to being the best film critic on the planet, Roger is one of the smartest human beings I know.

Some people that become big stars get big heads. That wasn’t the case with either Roger or Gene Siskel. Roger was totally welcoming to me when I became a critic, which wasn’t the case with all of the critics. Remember, I was just this radio guy who was a big fan of movies, and happened to review them on my show — I wasn’t really doing it as a job like the rest of them.

But Roger came up to me at one of my early screenings and made a big point of saying in front of everyone: “You finally have a worthwhile profession.”

The highlight of my time as a film critic probably came when I was on a two-man panel discussion about film in Indiana with Roger Ebert — just the two of us. Not that we were on the same level in any way. This is a man who can dissect a film shot by shot, frame by frame. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of film. He knows just about all there is to know... and suffice it to say, I don’t know, and can’t do, any of those things.

One of the people in the audience asked Roger what his favorite genre of film was, and he answered “Film Noir.” I said, “I don’t even know what that is!”

I have two more stories to give you an idea of how passionate Roger Ebert is about film. When the movie Babe came out, I loved it and I knew Roger loved it, but my wife at the time had no interest in seeing it. I asked him if he would come on my show to help me convince her that she had to see the movie. He did it with great enthusiasm. It’s hard to say no when the greatest film critic in the world tells you that you have to see a movie.

Another time I invited Roger and his wife over to my house for a party (along with a bunch of other friends). I had just gotten this new plasma television, and asked Roger if he wanted to come in and see it. I put on the film Wyatt Earp which had just come out on DVD, because I love that opening scene — the way they use sound is unbelievable.

While we were watching that opening scene, with the sound cranked to ear splitting levels, Roger was doing a dissertation on why Val Kilmer should have been nominated for an Academy Award for that role, and Roger’s wife Chaz walked into the room.

She looked at what we were doing, sighed, and said. “Oh great. Just like home.”


Rick was also there for the Ebert movie dissertation that day... "My three kids, who were all little at the time, were also there. They sat quietly and listened to Roger pontificating about the genre of Westerns, and the acting in some of those old Westerns, and before he was through, a small crowd had formed. All of us were spellbound. When we got in our car to leave later that day, my oldest son Tommy, who was about eight or nine, said to me, “Who was that friend of John’s? Boy, he sure does love movies.”

Records Truly is My Middle name is available on paperback here at Eckhartz Press, and the e-book is available at all the major e-book distributors including amazon.

Sometimes it Pays to be Mean

Eckhartz Press author David Stern forwarded me this incredibly awesome e-mail yesterday from someone who had received "The Balding Handbook" as a gift.


I thought you would be interested that I got 23 copies of The Balding Handbook ebook from various friends for my 40th birthday.

Thanks for making it possible for my "friends" to bust me.

Just kidding. I thought it was very funny and don't worry I'll get them back.


Let's face it, mean guys. Alan's friends are on to something here. I recommend this for all milestone birthdays.

Is the DH coming to the National League?

That was the depressing subject of a USA Today column yesterday. Writer Bob Nightengale suggested that it would be coming. It's only a matter of time. And one of the big supporters of the rule is our very own Theo Epstein.

Not diggin' that, Theo. Not diggin' it.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum was also asked about it, and he said that he was NOT in favor of the DH.

Maybe I'm just delusional, but I always thought there was a better chance of the AL realizing the error of their ways and scrapping the DH, than the NL buckling like this.

Mancow's Reality Show

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

Mancow Muller would seem to be the perfect subject for a reality TV show – and that’s probably what he’s always thought, too. Eric “Mancow” Muller and family (wife, twin seven-year-old daughters and his in-laws) are being trailed by crews filming for a reality TV show that he says will air this Summer on a “major network.” The suburban Chicago Daily Herald says the cameras are on top of Mancow starting with his 2:30am wakeup call (for his syndicated morning radio show, simulcast on Chicago’s Fox Channel 50 WPWR). As for all the crazy stuff Mancow did in Chicago radio to get attention, he says, “I do not live life in the past…I think it’s a trap. The Mancow of ’94 is not the Mancow of 2013.” He also gets off some shots at Chicago morning-show rivals like Eric & Kathy on Hubbard’s “101.9” WTMX – “feigning interest in Justin Bieber is heartbreaking.”

John Landecker will be co-hosting Mancow's show with him next Tuesday. Should be interesting. I'll be there with a camera too.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


John Landecker did a great interview last night with Turi Ryder to promote Records Truly Is My Middle Name.

You can listen to the interview here.

Pride (In the Name of Love)

A song inspired by Martin Luther King Jr...

45 Years Ago Today (An Excerpt From "Records Truly Is My Middle Name")

From "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", page 68...


I can tell you the exact date of my most memorable experience at WILS-Lansing. It was April 4, 1968. We had a very special guest in the studio that day; Stevie Wonder. Stevie was a big star at the time for Motown Records in Detroit, but he also supported a local school for the blind in Lansing, so he came to town semi-regularly. The music director at WILS (Craig Dudley) knew Stevie, and knew that he loved playing disc jockey, so he invited him to come to our station, sit at the control board, play records, and talk on the air.

I was there that day, and was lucky enough to watch him in action. It was just an amazing sight. He cued up the records, turned the knobs, turned the microphones on and off; you name it. Even though he couldn’t see a thing, he knew exactly what he was doing. There were a few Motown Records employees with him, but he was doing it all by himself. I was standing in the back of the studio watching the whole thing, in awe of his abilities.

That’s when the news came across the wire that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot.

At first it wasn’t clear if King was dead or not, but we all suspected he was. An instant tension filled the room. The Motown executives didn’t say a thing. None of the radio station employees (including me) responded, and neither did Stevie. But we all knew we were experiencing a significant moment.

Even though this clearly affected him, Stevie was a total pro. He finished the show.

Jon Stewart Sparks Diplomatic Crisis with Egypt

Here's the Cliff Notes version of what happened: Jon Stewart bashed the Egyptian president for imprisoning a comedian, the U.S. consulate tweeted a link to the video, the Egyptian government retaliated by linking to a video showing that the Jews control the American media, and whammo--diplomatic crisis.

The full story is here.

Jay Leno Steps Aside

It's official as of yesterday. Announcements have been made. Jay Leno is on the record with the New York Times.

In the article he claims this was his idea.

You have to give him credit for handling it professionally.

WLS Lets Fred Winston Go

I was very surprised to see this news: Fred Winston takes the fall for WLS Ratings

I just saw Fred the other day when I was over there and he was chipper and in great spirits. I really don't understand this move. When the jocks only talk a few seconds an hour they can't possibly be held responsible for a fall in the ratings.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Martin Luther King's Last Speech

Martin Luther King made the following speech on this day in 1968. Twenty four hours later he was shot dead by James Earl Ray.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Danny Knobler ‏@DannyKnoblerCBS 13m
Good line from a scout after watching Arencibia try to catch Dickey: "Yeah, he got leather on it. It hit his shoe."

Scott Smith ‏@ourmaninchicago 14m
There is a band called On Your Marx playing HOB on Thursday. Surprisingly, they are not a @richardmarx cover band.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 16m
The oldest person in the U.S. has died at age 113 in Florida. She was found on her couch watching Windy City LIVE.

David Sirota ‏@davidsirota 50m
CANT MAKE IT UP: Wall St bankers don't get prosecuted while shoplifters stealing $2.50 socks get life in prison: …

Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs 22m
Morning from Pitt. Game time temp on my I-phone says 37 tonight...Dont want to jinx great start but Cubs havent been 2-0 since 1995. wow.

Charlie Meyerson ‏@Meyerson 32m
'We're good at bitching about government. We're not so good at doing anything about it.' -- Gov. Jim Thompson.

Cubs Stats ‏@Cubs_Stats 38m
Yu Darvish leads all pitchers with an early 0.6 WAR. At No. 2? Our friend Jeff Samardzija with 0.5 WAR. … #Cubs

CollegeHumor ‏@CollegeHumor 19s
It's the 40th anniversary of the first cell phone call. They were a lot bigger back then.

Lou Brutus ‏@LouBrutus 5m
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." ~ George Carlin #37MillionBeliebers

Lin Brehmer ‏@LinBrehmer 9m
@WGNTV They mess up that ballpark and I'm gonna go all Buddhist monk on 'em.

JRL on PR Newswire

PR Newswire has posted our press release.

More than a thousand media professionals will be reading about "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" today.

Behind the Scenes at WCIU-TV

John and I spent the morning at WCIU-TV for You & Me This Morning, starring Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow. Melissa is a good friend of John’s (he tried to hire her to work with him a few times), and both she and Jeanne were very warm and friendly.

The highlight was probably their reaction to the John Travolta-John Landecker picture.

Watch the video here.

I feel like I'm becoming an expert on these places. I give the makeup room, and green room a thumbs up. These are the photos I snapped behind the scenes there, of their wall of fame, the makeup room, John in the green room, and John on the set.

JRL Radio Interview

Yesterday morning's John Landecker phone interview with WROK can be heard here.

He was on the Riley & Scot show.

Jimmy Fallon & Seth Meyers

If the Hollywood Reporter is to be believed, Jimmy Fallon is about to sign a contract for the Tonight Show.

They also report that Seth Meyers is the top choice to replace Jimmy.

Can I be the first one to report that Seth Meyers is now being groomed to take over the Tonight Show too? What's the official waiting time on that? Should I wait until one or both contracts are signed first?

Chris Hayes' Ratings are "All In"

This is the first week for the new Chris Hayes show ("All In") and if the early ratings are any indication, it looks like MSNBC made a good call--at least demographically speaking.

But remember--it's still early. He's only been in the job for three nights now. Check back in six months and you'll have a much better idea.

Roger Ebert's Health

Sad news. Roger Ebert's cancer has returned. He wrote about it poignantly in the Sun Times. This time the recovery is making him take a leave of absence (he calls it a "leave of presense"), but he will continue writing when he can...

At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you. It really stinks that the cancer has returned and that I have spent too many days in the hospital. So on bad days I may write about the vulnerability that accompanies illness. On good days, I may wax ecstatic about a movie so good it transports me beyond illness.

I hope he never stops writing. He's one of the best writers I've ever read.

Reader Reviews of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

The following reviews of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" were posted in the past few days on Good Reads. If you've read it, and enjoyed it, please review it there too. It's an important way to let people know about the book...

Len O'Kelly writes...

Radio fans and students alike need to read this book: Records Truly Is My Middle Name by John Landecker and Rick Kaempfer.

I got my copy last night and read through the whole thing. John is one of the legends of Chicago broadcasting that I was fortunate enough to work with, and I learned more than a few things from this book.

It's rare that we can benefit from the experience and wisdom of our career role models, and John's book provides - interwoven with stories both hilarious and touching - insight into what motivates talent to excel, re-invent themselves, and grow.

The next generation of broadcasters/webcasters/podcasters/whatever "casters" they are, who didn't grow up with the transistor radio under the pillow like we did, can learn a lot.

Paul writes...

For anyone who grew up in Chicago, you heard John Records Landecker on the radio. Even if you didn't, after reading this memoir, you'll wish you had. "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" is just like Landecker's various radio shows: often funny, sometimes serious, always entertaining, and uniquely John Records Landecker.

And Tony Almquist writes...

Records Truly Is My Middle Name is like John Records Landecker himself: intelligent, honest, and funnier than a one-legged man with a rubber crutch in an ass-kicking contest on a frozen pond.

I first started listening to John Landecker as a pimple-faced, angst-ridden adolescent in Dubuque, Iowa. It was around 1975, I just started junior high, and I was looking around the radio for some music that didn't suck. Came across this station in the middle of the dial playing music better than the local fare. I heard some ads letting me know this was out of the big city, Chicago, then, through the static, I heard what sounded like kids my age chanting about...boobies?! Right then I was hooked. Then the DJ took calls from kids in rapid succession. Later I realized I had just lost my Boogie Check cherry. For the entirety of my teen years, John Landecker and WLS were an indispensable part.

While reading the book, I was struck by how John's life is the quintessential baby boomer's life. His father is a German Jew who was the last Jew to get a law degree in Berlin and makes it to America to raise a family in America's postwar optimism. John recalls being in school when JFK is killed, he watches the Beatles on Ed Sullivan (remembering Mitzi Gaynor's cleavage sweat)and even ends up marrying the granddaughter of Senator McCarthy's nemesis, Joseph N. Welch. And of course, he falls in love with rock and roll. Each chapter of the book begins with the significant historical and cultural events of that particular era which not only give the book a nostalgic flavor but also give a context to make it a baby-boomer's life story.

My favorite part of the book is John's first tour with WLS since that was the time I got to know him through the radio. The behind-the-scenes stories of the all-star on-air talent off the air (that's awkward) are hilarious. I can just hear Larry Lujack growling," Phil-a-del-phia f**k!" My favorite story is the story of a foosball game between Elton John and Hugh Hefner at the Chicago Playboy mansion in which John served as play-by-play announcer. "Elton, you came from behind to win," said John. "I usually do," said Sir Elton.

Being the quintessential baby boomer story, the optimistic halcyon days give way to darker days for Landecker as he journeys from station to station, not finding the success he had with WLS in the '70's. The second half of the book finds John in what he describes as his darkest days, finding his career and family harmed by the excesses his alcohol and drug use brought, which he freely discusses. To John's credit, he doesn't use his book to settle scores or make excuses but takes responsibility for his failings. And again, to his credit, he puts away the drugs and booze, settles down with his soul mate, Nika, and enjoys rebirth at WJMK and currently on WLS-FM, in the time slot of his glory days,6PM to 10 PM, spinning (or whatever a jock does with music in the digital era) classic '70's and '80's hits.

Aside the larger context of John's story being the quintessential story of his generation, for me it is a story of coming back home. I started listening to John at the beginning of my teen years. Through my teen years, I listened to him nightly, cheered by his jokes, the music and the double entendres of which JRL was the all time master. I loved Boogie Check, Can I get a Witness News, Americana Panorama and John's general bemusement at the goofiness in the world. I graduated from high school when John left WLS in 1981, and like John I went out in the world, occasionally stumbled but eventually found my way back home. And thanks to the internet I have rediscovered John Records Landecker every weeknight from 6PM to 10PM. Coming back home.

A story John tells about his father seems to sum up the book. In Werner Landecker's student days he visited a library run by Nazis. Why would he do that, since as a Jew, he wasn't allowed to study there, John asks. Mr Landecker replied, "I wanted to see what it felt like." John says this describes his father perfectly. It also describes Werner Landecker's son perfectly. John takes us on a ride through his life and let's us know what it felt like. Fun, exciting, sometimes bumpy, but all in all, one hell of a ride. Thanks John for taking us along.

Monday, April 01, 2013

John Records Landecker on the Don Geronimo Show

Radio Recollections

This morning John Landecker was on the air with an old colleague, CBS-Sacramento Morning Man Don Geronimo.

You can listen to the interview here.

Tomorrow morning the world tour continues. First on WCIU-TV with Melissa Forman and Jeanne Sparrow (around 7:30am), then a phone interview to a radio station in Rockford (probably from the WCIU studios!), and finally another phone interview to another old colleague of John's--someone who is actually discussed in the book--newsman Gil Gross. He's currently hosting afternoons in San Francisco.

I'll be accompanying him to take photos and get behind the scenes stories for the Eckhartz Press blog, so I won't have any postings here until later in the day.

My Media Critic Debut

My first column as media critic for the Illinois Entertainer is an introductory piece. The interviews begin next month.

You can read it here.

Records on GoodReads

I know some of you have already purchased, received, and read "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". If you're in that club, please review the book on GoodReads.

We now have a page there: Records Truly Is My Middle Name.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Kevin Ware ‏@KevinWare_5
I'll be back before Derrick Rose comes back!

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin
Here's Kevin Ware holding his team's regional championship trophy while recovering in the hospital:

flavia barca ‏@flaviabarca
"@joekovacjr @carr2n: "My boss likes to point out that I tweet constantly but Twitter never sends me a check." …"

Chundria Stanback ‏@Chundria
We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; it’s to create something that will. #WhatWillYouCreate?

Michael McKean ‏@MJMcKean
"Worst job I ever had was butt rouger in a baboon factory." Pat McComick

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM
Georgia GOP chair warns that straight people will enter sham gay marriages for benefits

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980
If I owned a hardware store, I would totally have an "April Tool's Day" promotion. That promotion also works for Frat Bars as well.

Len and JD ‏@lenandjd
Happy Openig Day! I am excited to be here. Here's a few reasons why. jd …

Cisco Cotto ‏@CiscoCotto
If I don't watch, listen, or check scores online then I can wake up tomorrow morning still believing the Cubs have a chance this year.

Kevin Pang ‏@pang
Somewhere in America right now, a college newspaper editor is beginning his resignation letter with: "It is not our intention to offend..."

Justin Bieber's Monkey

That is not a euphemism. Justin Bieber's monkey was seized in Germany and quaranteened because Bieber didn't fill out the proper paperwork. Details are here in the Sun Times.

Justin does know the whole German Dieter "touch my monkey" thing on SNL was just a bit, right?

Watch the classic bit here.

Criticism of Amazon's Purchase of Goodreads

Glad to see I'm not the only one that hates the idea. The Authors Guild is with me. Guild President Scott Turow made the following statement...

"Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads is a textbook example of how modern Internet monopolies can be built … The key is to eliminate or absorb competitors before they pose a serious threat. With its 16 million subscribers, Goodreads could easily have become a competing on-line bookseller, or played a role in directing buyers to a site other than Amazon. Instead, Amazon has scuttled that potential and also squelched what was fast becoming the go-to venue for on-line reviews, attracting far more attention than Amazon for those seeking independent assessment and discussion of books. As those in advertising have long known, the key to driving sales is controlling information."

That's why he's a best selling author, and I'm not. I couldn't put my objections into words the way Mr. Turow was so succinctly able to do.

Gruesome Injury

If you were watching the Louisville-Duke game yesterday you saw a gruesome injury. It was reminiscent of the time Joe Theisman broke his leg on national television. The difference this time is that the network (in this case CBS) didn't show the replay a thousand times. I commend them for that decision.

On the other hand, people just went to YouTube and watched it there.

Opening Day!

I suppose it's fitting that Opening Day for the Cubs this year is on April Fools Day. However, I would like to point out that the Cubs are still in first place.

I'm trying to savor the moment.

April Fools!

Warning to those of you listening to the radio today: It's April Fools Day.

I'm trying to remember if I ever participated in an April Fools Day joke on the air. I vaguely remember Johnny B and Steve & Garry switching shifts on April Fools Day one year (a move, which ironically happened for real just a few years later), but I didn't make the move with them that day because they wanted to work with Wiser. I seem to recall that John Landecker pretended to be bitten by a snake one year, but I can't remember if that was on April Fools Day or not.

I only mention this because Robert Feder tips off a couple of April Fools Day jokes happening today...

"Public radio listeners will be in for a shock Monday when they hear who’s hosting The Afternoon Shift on WBEZ-FM (91.5). Broadcasting from his condo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Steve Dahl will be introduced as the Chicago Public Media station’s new 2 to 4pm weekday replacement for Steve Edwards. Listeners will be told he’s been signed to a long-term multimillion-dollar deal. "I don't know what you're talking about!" Dahl said when I asked him about taking part in the first April Fools stunt in his 35-year Chicago radio career. (Business reporter Niala Boodhoo starts for real as interim host of The Afternoon Shift on Tuesday.) The pranksters at WBEZ offered the April Fools morning show to Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannon, who declined. “Jobo didn't want [us] to ‘parody ourselves’ or ‘seem desperate,’ " Volkman told me. Instead, the morning show will parody Lin Brehmer’s opening day broadcasts for WXRT-FM (93.1) from a fictitious Wrigleyville bar."

Woman Being Considered for Top FBI Job

FBI Director Robert Mueller is stepping down after twelve years on the job. One of the top candidates to replace him is a woman: Lisa Monaco. (Details in the Washington Post)

It's about time they got someone else who could use the wardrobe J. Edgar Hoover left behind.

RIP Phil Ramone

You may not know his name, but his contributions to the music industry are lengthy and impressive. The Hollywood Reporter has a great article about one of the giants of the business.

One paragraph from that article gives you a good taste of what he did...

"Among the albums on which he worked were Streisand’s 1967 live A Happening in Central Park; Paul & Linda McCartney’s Ram (1971), sandwiched between the Beatles and Wings eras; Dylan’s aching Blood on the Tracks (1975); Simon’s pop classic Still Crazy After All These Years (1975); Billy Joel’s critical and commercial breakthrough The Stranger (1977); Sinatra’s last-gasp Duets (1993), a model of technical wizardry; and Ray Charles’ final album, the mega-selling Genius Loves Company (2004)."

He passed away this weekend at the age of 79.

Are Radio Stations Still Making Money?

The figures were released last week, and in Chicago anyway, it looks like some of the big boys are making less than they used to, but they're still making money.

The Tribune reports the five top billing stations are...

WBBM-AM with revenue of $45.7 million, down $2.3 million from 2011
WTMX-FM with revenue of $34.1 million, down $1.9 million from 2011
WGN-AM with revenue of $30.2 million, down $5.3 million from 2011
WBBM-FM with revenue of $25.8 million, up $7.8 million from 2011
WUSN-FM with revenue of $23.1 million, up $1.1 million from 2011

Read the full article here.


John Landecker is doing the Don Geronimo show in Sacramento this morning to discuss "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". They stream live on the internet if you want to listen. He'll be on at 7am Pacific Time, 9am in Chicago.

Click on the "Listen Now" button at this link if you want hear the interview.