Friday, November 14, 2014

Joel Daly

Having breakfast today with Eckhartz Press author and broadcasting icon Joel Daly . I haven't seen him in a few months--looking forward to it.

Meeting and working with Joel has been one of the coolest things that has happened to me as a publisher. What a gentleman.

Ivy Shoes

Cubs prospect Kris Bryant tweeted this picture of his new shoes...Ivy Adidas. I need a pair of these immediately. And I'm loving that he's already considering himself a Cub even though he hasn't made it to the big leagues yet. Looking forward to the day he is in the Cubs lineup.

Rauner and the Loop

I found this little tidbit in today's Tom Taylor column fascinating. Details about the agreement between Merlin Media (still technically the owners of the Loop), and Cumulus (the people currently running the Loop). Never realized that current Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was involved...

Here’s what Cumulus is paying to LMA and eventually buy Chicago’s WKQX and The Loop. We not only learn the monthly LMA fees, we discover that Cumulus can run Merlin Media’s alternative rock WKQX (101.1) and classic rock “Loop” WLUP (97.9) all the way through October 2017 without actually buying them. That’s equivalent to renting a house instead of making a more expensive all-cash mortgage payment upfront, and it favors Cumulus. Here are the terms – Cumulus started the LMA with Merlin (backed by Chicago-based private equity fund GCTR) in early January, and for this first year of the LMA, it pays $300,000 a month. That nut rises to $400,000 next year, $500,000 in year three of the deal and $600,000 in year four (2017). Cumulus gets to keep the operating profits from those stations, and CEO Lew Dickey indicates he’s happy with the results so far. What if Cumulus chooses to buy outright? There are several scenarios, but it would be paying something like $70 million (through October 4, 2017) or $71 million (for the ten days after that, at Merlin’s option). However, Cumulus would get credit for all the LMA fees, which are going to be substantial – potentially close to $20 million, if Cumulus runs the string out to October 2017. By that date, the actual purchase price would be around $50 million or so. And at that point, Merlin has the legal right to require Cumulus to buy the stations. (Note that former GTCR principal Bruce Rauner, the “R” in the company name, has a new job – governor of Illinois.)

Time for some Christmas Music

Starting today, WLIT in Chicago (93.9 FM) is playing all-Christmas music. WILV (100.3 FM) is playing a mixture of their usual format and Christmas music.

My calendar says November 14.

On the other hand, the weather sure feels like December. Might as well roll the tunes.

Silver Bells

Um, excuse me Kenova, West Virginia. That should be "Silver BElls" with an E, not an A. Simple mistake. Could have happened to anyone. (Thanks to JG for this one)

Dad's House

My father-in-law passed away last week, and my wife has been helping clean out the house. One of the things she found was an envelope with my name on it, containing a bunch of press clippings that my mother-in-law and father-in-law had saved.

Press clippings about me.

One of them was a Chicago Tribune article about a writing contest I won in 1999, written by current Chicago Sun Times publisher Jim Kirk. Here's a short excerpt...

From radio to writer? WJMK-FM 104.3 morning executive producer Rick Kaempfer may have found a new calling. Kaempfer was the national winner in a Diet Coke writing contest on living life to the fullest. His 500- word essay earned a trip to New York to meet some publishers.

"I was shocked," Kaempfer said. "They called me at home and I was taking a nap. My wife wouldn't wake me up because she thought it was a salesman."

Luckily, they called back.

I forgot all about that clipping. And now I have it for my kids.

The envelope also contained the press release announcing my first book, "The Radio Producer's Handbook" (from 2004), and the brochure promoting my first business (AMISH Chicago Advertising) from 2000.

I didn't have either of those in my archives either.

I should note that during these years, my father-in-law routinely called me Chris. I'm guessing the envelope was saved by my mother-in-law (who passed away in 2005). Regardless, it's nice to know they cared.

The Kardashian Butt Photo

Thanks to "LM" for this one...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Today's Father Knows Nothing Tease

I hear what you're saying out there..."But Rick, I don't have any children. I'm more of an animal lover. Why would I want to read this book?"

Are you kidding me? An entire chapter is devoted to you!

This little unassuming pit bull-mix named Ivy has provided fodder for Father Knows Nothing for almost five years now. Every dog owner will be able to relate to our incredibly embarrassing misadventures featuring skunks, hormonal neighborhood dogs, dishwashers, and why no subject is taboo in your house when the first thing you have to do is apologize for a wet nose in your guest's crotch.

(Father Knows Nothing is available for pre-order now.)

Jon Lester

He's meeting with the Cubs. He's meeting with the Cubs.

Trying to calm down.

He's only the best pitcher available, and has a previous relationship with Theo.

Trying to calm down.

Museum of Broadcasting Unveils New Studio

From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

There’s now an “Art Laboe Control Room” at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. That honors the Southern California personality/entrepreneur who embodies (and heck, owns) "oldies but goodies." The act of generosity by Laboe was revealed by Bruce Dumont at Sunday’s National Radio Hall of Fame ceremony in Los Angeles.

I will be appearing in that studio on November 29th to promote "Father Knows Nothing". I'll tell you more about that appearance as it gets closer. Looking forward to it.

Art Laboe, by the way, is a legendary Los Angeles disc jockey who is credited with coining the term "Oldies but Goodies".

Wall Street Journal Getting Out of Radio

Jim Romenesko has the memo that announced their intentions.

Read the memo if you want the full scoop. It actually sounds quite reasonable. They are concentrating on expanding their digital products instead.

Randy Jackson is out at American Idol

From USA Today...

Jackson on Tuesday issued a statement via his publicist: "After 13 seasons I felt now was the perfect time to leave American Idol. I'm proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever. A true original, Idol started it all. Onto what's next."

Fox and Idol producers also had a statement: "Randy has been such an integral part of American Idol since day one, both as a judge and as a mentor. He's provided great advice and support, shaping the success of so many Idols we have discovered over the years. We wish him all the best in his next chapter. Randy will always be part of our Idol family and we hope he'll visit from time to time."

I know a lot of you watch it, but I have to admit I haven't seen it in years.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

German Sesame Street

Good bit...

Advanced Reviews For "Father Knows Nothing"

So far, exactly four people have read advanced copies of "Father Knows Nothing" (other than my editor & me). Here is what they have to say about it...

"Kaempfer's triumphant achievement is also his greatest success. The most famous, hilarious, suburban stay-at-home dad of all-time!"

- Pat Colander, Associate Publisher & Editor/Shore Magazine

"Father Knows Nothing is a loving, humorous, insightful and abundantly entertaining tale of a dad and his sons."

- John Records Landecker, WLS-Radio

"Rick is the new Bill Cosby of parenting books. Minus the fact that he is white, middle class, and doesn't wear bad sweaters."

- Jeff Hoover, WGN-TV Morning News

"It doesn’t matter whether you’re the father of sons or daughters, the stories in Father Knows Nothing will hit close to home. I laughed out loud picturing Rick breaking up fights between his sons, flinging the top layer of a pizza across the kitchen and scaring his son out of lawn maintenance. The frequent laughs are balanced with emotionally touching stories and insights. This book is a wonderful record of an exciting, tumultuous time that all parents will relate to."

- Brian Noonan, WGN Radio

Father Knows Nothing is available for pre-order now, and it ships right after Thanksgiving. It's the perfect Christmas present for the dad (or dad to be) in your family.

Dad's House

My father-in-law passed away last week, and now the difficult chore of cleaning out his house begins. Several of his kids (he had 7) spent the entire day there yesterday, and while it's beginning to sink in how big this job is (he lived in the house for forty years)--there are occasional gems being uncovered.

This is my favorite so far...

John Farneda Leaves WXRT

People simply don't leave WXRT. John Farneda has been their Operations Manager, and before that, just about every other position in the programming side of the WXRT operation for three decades. The RAMP Newsletter posted his e-mail about why he is leaving...

"After 31 years at Chicago's Finest Rock, I realized that I have achieved all my goals at the radio station and it is now time to set new ones. In 1983, I was hired as an intern to type public service announcements and schedule interviews. Since then, I have been trusted to program one of the most respected, unique and influential radio stations in the country. I have served as Assistant Program Director, Music Director and Operations Manager. I have produced/co-produced all 16 volumes of ONXRT: Live From The Archives (a compilation CD of exclusive live performances that has raised close to $1,000,000 for various charitable organizations both locally and globally). In 2015, I look forward to exploring new adventures in the music industry. I hope to share my decades of programming experience with friends wanting to innovate and entertain."

Hmmmm. That last sentence sticks out to me. I'm sure it also sticks out to the brass at WXRT.

FCC Chairman Backtracks

The FCC Chairman met with the Telecom lobbyists...and now he's backtracking from what he said yesterday, according to the Washington Post.


If he decides to rule in favor of these telecom giants and lets them create fast lanes and slow lanes on the internet, despite the overwhelming majority of Americans opposing it--and the President of his own party urging him NOT to do it--we have reached a new low point in this country. Even more depressing to me is reading the comments section of the article. As I predicted yesterday, now that Obama has chosen sides, the knee-jerk Obama haters are agreeing with the four CEOs.

This is like watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and rooting for Mr. Potter. "Yeah! Stick it to 'em, Potter! Gouge the suckers!"

Actually it's worse than that, because in this case, even Mr. Potter is against it. Every business is against it. They all sell with the help of the internet these days. They know their cost of business will now go up if the telecom giants are allowed to do this, or the quality of their internet service will go down. They will have to make that choice. That's what is being proposed here. As a consumer, your costs will go up. Period. And your internet experience will be worse. Period. Read the tortured attempts at trying to pretend that isn't the case. Of course it is.

Only four people are in favor of doing this. And, of course, the politicians they have bought (of both parties), and now, also the people who hate everything Obama proposes.

That's the coalition who is urging us to crush the last thing in America that allows anyone to innovate on a completely equal footing.

I understand why those four guys want it. I even get why the politicians they bought want it. The rest of you? I will never understand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I've Been Calling His Show This For Years

Father Knows Nothing

The pre-orders have been pouring in for "Father Knows Nothing" and I'd like to thank everyone who has already placed an order. If you'd like to pre-order your copy, you can get it here. I've been posting little teasers about what you can find in the book, and today I'll tell you about Chapter 3: Injuries, Sicknesses, and Close Calls.

Perhaps the most entertaining part of that chapter (in retrospect only) is the story of this photograph. Two broken bones at the same time. The typically graceful Kaempfer causes of those injuries, and the challenge of dealing with them simultaneously, provides the (unbroken) backbone of Chapter 3.

History of Veteran's Day

Stan Hyde

Sorry I've been sort of off the grid for the past few days. I've been spending most of my time with my wife Bridget's family, taking care of the many details surrounding the wake and funeral of my father-in-law, Stan Hyde. That's a picture of him from happier times.

I want to thank everyone who came out to the wake and funeral, and those of you who sent flowers. The family greatly appreciates it.

The last thing Stan said to me was "Rick, will you please write my eulogy?" I've written and delivered quite a few eulogies over the past twenty years (unfortunately), but this is the first time the dying person asked me personally. I hope the eulogy lived up to his expectations.

RIP Stan.

MLB investigating Cubs for tampering

The Rays have accused the Cubs of tampering with their former manager Joe Maddon, so MLB is going to investigate.

SI has the details.

Look at that cute little Cubbie. He wouldn't tamper, would he?

Net Neutrality

There was a huge announcement by the president yesterday regarding Net Neutrality...

Even the FCC Chairman, who came from the telecommunications industry, has now openly come out on the right side for the first time...
The President's statement is an important and welcome addition to the record of the Open Internet proceeding. Like the President, I believe that the Internet must remain an open platform for free expression, innovation, and economic growth. We both oppose Internet fast lanes. The Internet must not advantage some to the detriment of others. We cannot allow broadband networks to cut special deals to prioritize Internet traffic and harm consumers, competition and innovation.
For those of you who automatically hate anything the president says, just because he is the one saying it, try to take a deep breath and listen to what is really happening here. There are only four or five people in the world who REALLY want this new internet that charges a premium to companies with deep pockets (and allows everyone else to have a slower internet)--the CEOs of the cable providers. Every other business in America is happy about this ruling. Not just private citizens (the nearly 4 million who wrote in)--businesses. It's a no-brainer that is only opposed by four or five companies and people who are allowing themselves to be convinced simply because the wrong guy is in favor of it.

Don't be one of those people. It takes zero effort to poke holes in the flimsy arguments presented by the opposition to this.

This is about one thing, and one thing only--an equal opportunity internet.

Concert for Valor

There's a huge concert tonight in Washington to honor our veterans on Veterans Day. From the RAMP Newsletter...

In a massive Veterans Day salute to our nation's brave military personnel past and present, HBO, Starbucks and Chase proudly present The Concert For Valor, a huge live music event happening tonight on The Mall in Washington, DC. The Concert For Valor is the first-of-its kind event that is designed to bring artists, celebrities and millions of Americans together to honor the courage and sacrifice of our brave veterans, active-duty service members and their families. Artists scheduled to perform include The Black Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem, Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, Metallica, Rihanna and Zac Brown Band. Among the special guests on the program are Meryl Streep, Jamie Foxx, John Oliver, Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, George Lopez and Bob Woodruff as well as tributes from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon and others.

John Landecker in Morris

The Daily Herald has a nice piece on the John Landecker book signing at the Morris library over the weekend.

Sounds like he was a big hit.